As COVID-19 ravages across the globe, this year's G-20 Summit began via video conferencing on Saturday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump among several other leaders sharing the platform.
G-20 president King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia during his opening remarks said that this year has been an "extraordinary year" as the pandemic set an "unprecedented shock that affected the entire world within a short period of time, causing global economic and social losses".
While urging for international cooperation amid the global crisis, he said, "We would like to welcome you to the Riyadh Summit, our second summit this year. It is unfortunate that we are unable to host you in-person in Riyadh, due to the exceptional circumstances that we are all facing this year...We will do our best to overcome this crisis through international cooperation."
"We took extraordinary measures to support our economies by injecting over USD 11 trillion to support individuals and businesses. We have a duty to rise to the challenge together during this summit and give a strong message of hope and reassurance to our peoples through adopting policies to mitigate this crisis," he said.
He said that while progress is being made in "developing vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics tools" for the coronavirus, the countries need to create the conditions for affordable and equitable access to these tools for people.
"We must continue to support the global economy and reopen our economies and borders to facilitate the mobility of trade and people. We must provide support to the developing countries in a coordinated manner to maintain the development already achieved over the past decades," he added.
( With inputs from ANI )
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