New Delhi: Meeting by video conference, leaders of the G-20 countries decided to inject over US $5 trillion into the global economy to counteract the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
They also decided to provide immediate resources to three initiatives of World Health Organisation on the COVID-19 pandemic: the Solidarity Response Fund, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
The Extraordinary Virtual summit of the G-20 grouping resolved “to do whatever it takes" to overcome the pandemic including delivery of medical supplies, diagnostic tools, treatments, medicines and vaccines.
Clearly expressing his unhappiness with the response of WHO to the pandemic, sources said, “PM Modi highlighted that international organisations like WHO need to be strengthened and reformed. WHO initially did not have the mandate to deal with a pandemic of this sort, which is why empowering of WHO is necessary be it in terms of its capacity of early warning or development of effective vaccines, or capacity building.”
PM Modi therefore called for reform in the global health body by strengthening its mandate so that it can provide early-warning systems and take the lead in fighting against pandemics and also help states in developing protocols.
Responding to concerns on the role of the WHO, the G-20 joint statement therefore said, “We fully support and commit to further strengthening the WHO's mandate in coordinating the international fight against the pandemic, including the protection of front-line health workers, delivery of medical supplies, especially diagnostic tools, treatments, medicines, and vaccines. We acknowledge the necessity of urgent short-term actions to step up the global efforts to fight the COVID-19 crisis. We will quickly work together and with stakeholders to close the financing gap in the WHO Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.”
Prime minister Modi also called for a “new globalisation” that took into account not just financial matters but had a social and humanitarian outlook on issues like combating terrorism and climate change. Sources said Modi conveyed that multilateral fora had been focusing only on financial matters and “balancing competing interests” but it was now time to put “human beings at the centre of its vision”.
The G-20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, âRepublic oâf Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.