Screening of a “ family photo ” for the annual summit of G20 leaders at Salwa Palace in At-Turaif, one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Saudi Arabia, in Diriyah, Arabia Saudi Arabia (Reuters)
DUBAI: Dubai: The Group of 20 summit began on Saturday with calls from the world’s most powerful leaders to collectively chart the way forward as the coronavirus pandemic overshadows this year’s rally, turning it from meetings in person to a virtual gathering of speeches and statements.
G20 member countries represent around 85% of global economic production and three quarters of international trade. “We have a duty to rise to the challenge together at this summit and to send a strong message of hope and comfort,” said Saudi King Salman.
A final joint statement is expected to be released by leaders from the United States, China and other G20 countries after the virtual meeting ends on Saturday. In a draft, leaders noted that the coronavirus crisis had hit the most vulnerable in society hardest, and said some countries may need debt relief beyond a temporary moratorium on payments of the public debt which is expected to end in June 2021.
“We are determined to continue to use all available political tools for as long as necessary to protect people’s lives,” he said.