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G20 leaders on Sunday promised to guarantee “affordable and equitable access” to vaccines and treatments against Covid-19, but without giving concrete details on how to achieve it.
Will the Covid-19 vaccine be available quickly for vulnerable populations in less wealthy countries? The leaders of the twenty greatest world economic powers answered in the affirmative, Sunday, November 22, by promising to guarantee equitable access to this treatment. However, no concrete mechanism has been put in place to translate these words into action.
“We will stop at nothing to ensure affordable and equitable access [aux vaccins, tests et traitements] of all, “wrote the G20 leaders in the final declaration of a virtual summit with a resolutely consensual tone, but poor in concrete details.
The G20 is being held this year in a virtual format that takes away much of its luster at the top, and under the presidency of Saudi Arabia, which has drawn sharp criticism from human rights organizations.
While the pandemic has now killed nearly 1.4 million people worldwide, presidents and heads of government have said “fully support” the mechanisms put in place by the World Health Organization to ensure that vaccines do not not only benefit the richest countries.
The members of the G20 promise to “fill the financing needs which still exist”, when they themselves are already on the tracks of the campaigns of vaccination on a large scale.
The United States said on Sunday that it hopes to start theirs before mid-December. Private laboratories and G20 states have been competing for several days to announce the progress of their future vaccines.
No deal on poor country debt
But the G20 did not explicitly mention the amount of 28 billion dollars (23.6 billion euros), including 4.2 billion in emergency, claimed by the United Nations to deal with the pandemic.
Another subject on which the G20 was expected at the turn: the debt of poor countries, which is soaring due to the economic cataclysm caused by the pandemic.
G20 leaders “promise to implement” an already adopted Debt Service Suspension Initiative (ISSD / DSSI) that allows poor countries to suspend interest payments on their debt until June 2021.
But while the United Nations hoped that this period would be extended until the end of 2021, the G20 is relying on its finance ministers to “examine” this issue next spring.
The great powers, which have already spent some 11 trillion dollars to save the world economy, also say they are “determined to continue to use all available instruments” to support an “uneven” and “very uncertain” recovery.
Beyond the pandemic, the final declaration adopts a tone at first glance a little more harmonious on climate and trade, favorite workhorses of Donald Trump today especially busy contesting his defeat in the American presidential election.