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G20 Summit kicks off in Riyadh, PM Modi attends virtually


New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) The 15th G20 Summit with the theme — Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for all — began on Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for two days — November 21-22.

Chaired by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, the G20 Leaders’ Summit will focus on fostering international action to realize opportunities of the 21st century for all, by empowering people and protecting the planet, whilst harnessing the potential of innovation to shape new frontiers.

Significantly, G20 is leading the fight against this global pandemic; taking swift and unprecedented actions to protect lives, livelihoods and the most vulnerable.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Summit at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.

In a series of Twitter posts, Mr Modi said that he had a very fruitful discussion with G20 leaders. “Coordinated efforts by the largest economies of the world will surely lead to faster recovery from this pandemic. Thanked Saudi Arabia for hosting the Virtual Summit”, Mr Modi wrote.

The prime minister further said that ‘transparency in our processes helps in inspiring our societies to fight crisis collectively and with confidence’. “Spirit of trusteeship towards planet Earth will inspire us for a healthy and holistic lifestyle”, he added.

Mr Modi informed that India has offered its IT prowess to further develop digital facilities for efficient functioning of the G20.

On Friday, Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the G20 Finance Ministers virtual meeting. During the meeting, the Finance Minister emphasised the need for further efforts by the G20 members to end the global economic crisis and highlighted the affordability and accessibility of COVID vaccines for all as a crucial step in this direction.

A day earlier, on the eve of the Summit, global experts, in a virtual discussion organised by UNI TV in collaboration with PIO TV, averred that the Summit, this time, will most likely focus on protecting lives and restoring growth, by addressing vulnerabilities uncovered during the COVID-19 pandemic and by laying down the foundations for a better future.

Prof Dennis J Snower, president of the Global Solutions Initiative, which provides policy advice to the G20 and professor of macroeconomics and sustainability at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, felt that in the background of the historically unprecedented global pandemic and financial crisis, along with a major digital revolution and social dislocation, the G20 Summit was the main platform to enable global co-operation and co-ordination in vital issues.

‘Global health issues are very important and it is vital for an agreement on the production and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and to make sure that it will be available everywhere. Individual mental health matters and disruption on the social sphere are also areas of concern,’ Dr Snower, who was speaking from London, said.

‘A digital revolution is changing the way we work and live and it can be expected that G20 will look at dealing with the big digital divide in jobs, education and health,’ Dr Snower added.

Climate Investment Funds (CIF) CEO Mafalda Duarte, whose organisation is an 8.5 billion dollar multilateral fund supporting climate action in 72 developing countries for over a decade, said, ‘We are at an inflection point globally with the pandemic having a huge impact on the lives of poor people around the world and 100 million people likely to drop into extreme poverty, according to an estimate by the World Bank.

‘The USD 11 trillion stimulus packages are not going into green recovery trajectory, which is a cause for concern,’ she warned.

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