Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Saturday called for supporting the global economy and reopening economies and borders to facilitate trade and mobility of people, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
King Salman made the remarks during his opening speech in the virtual 15th Group of 20 (G20) Leaders’ Summit, where he also highlighted support for developing countries in a coordinated manner to maintain what has already achieved over the past decades.
In addition, he called for promoting access to opportunity for all, especially women and youth, to enhance their roles in society and in the job market through education.
On the COVID-19 pandemic, the King stressed the role of international cooperation to overcome the crisis, which “has been an unprecedented shock that affected the entire world within a short period of time.”
The Saudi G20 presidency hosted an extraordinary leaders’ meeting to reduce the COVID-19 impact in March, where they agreed to allocate 21 billion U.S. dollars to support the global efforts to combat the pandemic and 11 trillion dollars to support individuals and businesses.
In addition, the G20 also approved the Debt Service Suspension Initiative in April to address the immediate liquidity needs of low-income countries to ensure their ability to focus all resources available on fighting the pandemic.
In the near future, “we must address the vulnerabilities exposed by COVID-19 while working to protect lives and livelihoods,” said King Salman.
He expressed optimism about the progress made in developing vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics tools for COVID-19, emphasizing the essentiality of creating the conditions for affordable and equitable access to these tools for all peoples.
The two-day G20 Leaders’ Summit brings together heads of state or government from 19 countries and the European Union, as well as leaders of guest countries and representatives of invited regional and international organizations, to discuss global economic cooperation.
The Summit marks the end of the Saudi G20 Presidency that started in December 2019.