SUNDAY, April 21, 2024

G20 members urged to jointly fight COVID

G20 members urged to jointly fight COVID

China calls upon countries to avoid export restrictions or excessive hoarding of vaccines

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday that China has provided over 450 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to nearly 100 countries so far, and called on the Group of 20 to "stay true to unity, teamwork and play a leading role in the global fight against the pandemic".

Speaking during the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting via video link, he urged capable countries to "avoid export restrictions or excessive hoarding" and make due contributions to bridging the disparities in novel coronavirus immunization.

This year's meeting was chaired by Italy in Matera, a city in the south of the country.

The Matera Declaration adopted at the event warned that the COVID-19 pandemic "is likely to add more than 100 million people to the total number of undernourished in the world, as people lost their jobs and income, with consequences on their food security".

At the event, Wang called on G20 member countries to "respond to the pandemic on a scientific basis", and strengthen cooperation in vaccines, diagnosis and treatment, as well as joint prevention and control.

G20 members need to take a problem-oriented approach, and "make the global governance system more responsive", Wang said.

"We need to strengthen the role of the World Health Organization and build up the global disease prevention and control system," he said.

The meeting shows that "the G20 plays a leading role in tackling major international crises and perfecting global governance", Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday.

"China stands ready to work with all parties to practice true multilateralism, strive for a successful Rome Summit and contribute wisdom and strength to securing a global victory over COVID-19 at an early date, realizing steady and sustained world economic recovery," Wang told reporters in Beijing.

On economic issues, China urged countries at the meeting to provide more support to developing countries, particularly those in Africa.

Since 2008, China has been the destination of 25 percent of the total exports from the least developed countries.

Also, China is the country that contributed the largest share among the G20 members when fulfilling an initiative that calls for suspending or postponing debt payment by the poorest countries, Vice-Foreign Minister Xie Feng said in June.

To achieve greater policy coordination against global economic headwinds, Wang Yi said at the event on Tuesday that G20 members "need to adopt responsible macroeconomic policies that have no spillovers to others and that serve the stability of international economic and financial systems".

In addition to building an open world economy and keeping global supply and industrial chains secure, countries also need to "prevent fragmentation of the international market and politicization of cooperation mechanisms, and dismiss ideology-based rules and standards", he said.

Multilateralism was another key word at the gathering, as senior diplomats including Wang Yi called on G20 members to uphold multilateralism and rally more support for the stability of the international order.

"It is important for the G20 to lead by example and practice true multilateralism," Wang said. "Multilateralism is not a high-sounding slogan, still less a facade for unilateralism.

"We need to pursue openness and inclusiveness, and oppose seclusion and exclusion. We need to pursue win-win cooperation, and oppose zero-sum games," he said.

After the event, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said at a news conference that the Matera Declaration adopted at the G20 meeting was an example of multilateralism, and the global teamwork against COVID-19 highlights the importance of international cooperation.