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Updated on: Friday, March 27, 2020, 05:05 PM IST

Coronavirus Update: G20 leaders pledge united response against COVID-19

"We will share timely and transparent information; exchange epidemiological and clinical data; share materials necessary for research and development; and strengthen health systems globally, including through supporting the full implementation of the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR 2005)," G20 leaders said in the joint statement.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the G20 Extraordinary Virtual Leaders' Summit on COVID-19 via video link in Beijing, capital of China, March 26, 2020. | Xinhua/Pang Xinglei

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the G20 Extraordinary Virtual Leaders' Summit on COVID-19 via video link in Beijing, capital of China, March 26, 2020. | Xinhua/Pang Xinglei

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RIYADH -- The Group of 20 (G20) major economies on Thursday pledged to present a "united front" against the common threat posed by COVID-19, while vowing to inject over 5 trillion U.S. dollars to boost the global economy.

G20 leaders made the pledges in a joint statement released after Saudi Arabia convened an extraordinary summit by video-link to coordinate multilateral response to the pandemic.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud attends the extraordinary G20 leaders' virtual summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 26, 2020.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud attends the extraordinary G20 leaders' virtual summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 26, 2020. | Department of Public Information of Saudi Arabia/Handout via Xinhua

JOINT FIGHT

The leaders who attended the virtual conference pledged full support for the World Health Organization (WHO) in coordinating global efforts against the COVID-19 epidemic.

"We fully support and commit to further strengthen the WHO's mandate in coordinating the international fight against the pandemic," G20 leaders said in the joint statement.

The leaders seek to ensure adequate financing to contain the pandemic and commit to provide immediate resources to the WHO, according to the statement.

"We will share timely and transparent information; exchange epidemiological and clinical data; share materials necessary for research and development; and strengthen health systems globally, including through supporting the full implementation of the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR 2005)," the statement said.

"We task our Health Ministers to meet as needed to share national best practices and develop a set of G20 urgent actions on jointly combatting the pandemic by their ministerial meeting in April," the statement added.

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A person wearing a face mask rides a bicycle at Times Square in New York, the United States, on March 26, 2020.

A person wearing a face mask rides a bicycle at Times Square in New York, the United States, on March 26, 2020. | Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua

ECONOMIC STIMULUS

The G20 major economies also said they are pumping in over 5 trillion dollars into the global economy as part of their joint efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.

"We are injecting over 5 trillion U.S. dollars into the global economy, as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic," the statement said.

As part of multilateral response to the pandemic, G20 leaders also commit to continue working together to facilitate international trade and coordinate responses in ways that avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade, according to the statement.

"We reiterate our goal to realize a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open," the leaders said.

According to the statement, G20 leaders commit to do "whatever it takes" and to use "all available policy tools" to minimize the economic and social damage from the pandemic, restore global growth, maintain market stability, and strengthen resilience.

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Published on: Friday, March 27, 2020, 05:05 PM IST
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