Mon, 30 Nov 2020

RIYADH, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Following is the full text of the Leaders' Declaration of the 15th Group of 20 (G20) Summit released on Sunday: Leaders' Declaration

G20 Riyadh Summit

November 21-22, 2020 1. We, the G20 Leaders, meeting for the second time under the Saudi Presidency, stand united in our conviction that coordinated global action, solidarity, and multilateral cooperation are more necessary today than ever to overcome the current challenges and realize opportunities of the 21st century for all by empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers. We are committed to leading the world in shaping a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive post-COVID-19 era.

A. Rising to the Challenge Together

2. The COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact in terms of lives lost, livelihoods and economies affected, is an unparalleled shock that has revealed vulnerabilities in our preparedness and response and underscored our common challenges. We reiterate the commitments of our Extraordinary Summit on March 26, welcome the progress achieved since, and will continue to spare no effort to protect lives, provide support with a special focus on the most vulnerable, and put our economies back on a path to restoring growth, and protecting and creating jobs for all. We express our gratitude to and support for health and other frontline workers as we continue to fight this pandemic. We remain determined to support all developing and least developed countries as they face the intertwined health, economic, and social effects of COVID-19, recognizing the specific challenges in Africa and small island developing states.

3. We have mobilized resources to address the immediate financing needs in global health to support the research, development, manufacturing, and distribution of safe and effective COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people, consistent with members' commitments to incentivize innovation. In this regard, we fully support all collaborative efforts, especially the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) initiative and its COVAX facility, and the voluntary licensing of intellectual property. We commit to addressing the remaining global financing needs, welcome the efforts made by the multilateral development banks to strengthen the financial support for countries' access to COVID-19 tools, in line with existing multilateral efforts, and encourage them to do more. We recognize the role of extensive immunization as a global public good.

4. While the global economy experienced a sharp contraction in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic activity has partially picked up as our economies gradually reopened and the positive impact of our significant policy actions started to materialize. However, the recovery is uneven, highly uncertain and subject to elevated downside risks, including those arising from renewed virus outbreaks in some economies, with some countries reintroducing restrictive health measures. We underscore the urgent need to bring the spread of the virus under control, which is key to supporting global economic recovery. We are determined to continue to use all available policy tools as long as required to safeguard people's lives, jobs and incomes, support the global economic recovery, and enhance the resilience of the financial system, while safeguarding against downside risks. We also reaffirm the exchange rate commitments made by our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in March 2018.

5. We are taking immediate and exceptional measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its intertwined health, social and economic impacts, including through the implementation of unprecedented fiscal, monetary and financial stability actions, consistent with governments' and central banks' respective mandates, while ensuring that the international financial institutions and relevant international organizations continue to provide critical support to emerging, developing and low-income countries. Based on the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates, our efforts to temporarily extend social protection measures have supported the livelihoods of nearly 645 million people.

6. The G20 Action Plan sets out key principles and commitments to drive forward international economic cooperation as we navigate this crisis and take steps to support the recovery and achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. Recognizing that members are in different stages of responding to the crisis and that the global economic outlook continues to evolve, we endorse the October 2020 updates to the G20 Action Plan, which will ensure that we continue to promptly respond to the evolving health and economic situation and make the most of ongoing economic, social, environmental, technological and demographic changes. We also endorse the second G20 Action Plan Progress Report, which provides up to date information on progress made against Action Plan commitments. The G20 Action Plan is a living document, and we ask our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to continue to regularly review, update, track implementation of, and report on it.

7. We are committed to implementing the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) including its extension through June 2021, allowing DSSI-eligible countries to suspend official bilateral debt service payments. We welcome the progress achieved thus far. The preliminary reporting from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) highlighted that, together with exceptional financing, the DSSI is significantly facilitating higher pandemic-related spending. The IMF and WBG will continue to work on their proposal of a process to strengthen the quality and consistency of debt data and improve debt disclosure. We reiterate the importance of joint efforts by both borrowers and creditors, official and private, to improve debt transparency. Our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors will examine by the time of the 2021 IMF/WBG Spring Meetings if the economic and financial situation requires further extension of the DSSI by another 6 months, which is also agreed by the Paris Club. All official bilateral creditors should implement this initiative fully and in a transparent manner. We will continue to closely coordinate its ongoing implementation to provide maximum support to DSSI-eligible countries. There is a lack of participation from private creditors, and we strongly encourage them to participate on comparable terms when requested by eligible countries. While protecting their current rating and low cost of funding, multilateral development banks (MDBs) are encouraged to go further on their collective efforts in supporting the DSSI, including through providing net-positive flows to DSSI-eligible countries during the suspension period, including the extension period. As of 13 November 2020, 46 countries have requested to benefit from the DSSI, amounting to an estimated USD 5.7 billion of 2020 debt service deferral.

8. Given the scale of the COVID-19 crisis, the significant debt vulnerabilities and deteriorating outlook in many low-income countries, we recognize that debt treatments beyond the DSSI may be required on a case-by-case basis. In this context, we endorse the "Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI", which is also endorsed by the Paris Club.

9. Our ongoing response to the crisis caused by COVID-19 marks a defining moment in our history. Building on the benefits of our interconnectedness, we will address the vulnerabilities revealed by this crisis, take the necessary steps to recover stronger, and work to ensure that future generations are safer than we have been.

B. Building a Resilient and Long-Lasting Recovery

10. Health: We commit to advancing global pandemic preparedness, prevention, detection, and response. We reaffirm our commitment to full compliance with the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), to improving their implementation, including through supporting capacities of countries in need, and to the continued sharing of timely, transparent, and standardized data and information. We emphasize the important mandates of the United Nations' system and agencies, primarily the WHO, while considering the ongoing evaluations, its stated commitment to transparency, and the need to strengthen its overall effectiveness, in coordinating and supporting the global response to the pandemic and the central efforts of Member States. We take note of the assessments of gaps in pandemic preparedness undertaken by relevant international organizations and we look forward to the work of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response and the IHR Review Committee on evaluating the global health response to the pandemic as outlined in the World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution on COVID-19. We commend the Saudi Presidency for initiating discussions on the need for long-term solutions to address gaps in global pandemic preparedness and response, including its proposal towards establishing access to pandemic tools, and we look forward to furthering this discussion during the Italian Presidency.

11. Well-functioning, value-based, inclusive, and resilient health systems are critical to move towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). We reconfirm the importance of UHC financing in developing countries. We welcome the establishment of the Global Innovation Hub for Improving Value in Health, with which countries can engage on a voluntary basis. We will continue tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and zoonotic diseases based on the One-Health approach; supporting and accelerating research and development (R&D) of new antimicrobials; ensuring access to existing antimicrobials, while enhancing their prudent stewardship; and maintaining our efforts in tackling infectious and non-communicable diseases. (more)

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