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Draft statement: G20 leaders promise to pay for fair distribution of coronavirus vaccines

A draft G20 statement indicates that leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies would promise on Sunday to pay for a fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs, and tests across the globe, so the more impoverished countries could also benefit, and to extend debt relief to them.

The leaders related in the draft G20 statement seen by Reuters: We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people, consistent with members’ commitments to incentivize innovation. They added: We recognize the role of extensive immunization as a global public good.

The leaders also said that the global economy was beginning to rise however the recovery remained uneven, highly uncertain, and subject to elevated downside risks. They promised to continue to use all available policy tools as long as needed to protect lives, jobs and incomes, and they boosted the multilateral development banks to reinforce their efforts to help countries deal with the crisis.

On its part, the European Union has appealed for $4.5 billion by the end of the year from the G20 to pay for COVID-19 struggling tools for poorer countries.

The draft also appealed on private creditors to join the debt servicing moratorium that the G20 wants to prolong until the middle of 2021 and possibly for a more extended period and supports a common framework for dealing then with debt matters.

It also stated: There is a lack of participation from private creditors, and we strongly encourage them to participate on comparable terms when requested by eligible countries.

Furthermore, the leaders also acknowledged the specific challenges that the countries in Africa and Small Island developing states face, which reflecting that even some middle-income countries may require debt relief because of the pandemic.

G20 leaders, with the intention to prepare for any potential next pandemic that might come, related that they would commit to advancing global pandemic preparedness, prevention, detection, and response and to the continued sharing of timely, transparent, and standardized data and information

Bolder on trade, climate

As Democrat Joe Biden, an avowed multilateralist plans to replace Donald Trump as US president in two months; the G20 statement took a strict position on international trade, climate change, and the World Health Organization role.

Trump, who chose bilateral agreements, has reduced support for multilateral institutions such as the World Trade Organization. This year threatened to remove from the World Health Organization if it wasn’t reformed. His administration had also previously prevented to mention climate change in G20 statement.

The G20 statement said: Supporting the multilateral trading system is now as important as ever. We strive to realize the goal of a free, fair, inclusive, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable, and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open.

The G20 also related that they would follow a way to tax international tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, or Microsoft, so they should pay their fair share of taxes. Indeed, the Internet giants have significantly benefited from the shift to teleworking imposed in the pandemic world economy. European countries have long been pushing to tax them while making their profits instead, creating their subsidiaries for tax optimization purposes. But the initiative has been stopped by the Trump administration until now. The imminent change of guard in the White House also appeared to unblock bolder G20 language on climate change.

The G20 draft statement said: Preventing environmental degradation, conserving, sustainably using and restoring biodiversity, preserving our oceans, promoting clean air and clean water, responding to natural disasters and extreme weather events, and tackling climate change are among the most pressing challenges of our time.

It also added: As we recover from the pandemic, we are committed to safeguarding our planet and building a more environmentally sustainable and inclusive future for all people.

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