New Delhi: In a first summit of its kind, the Group of 20 global leaders on Thursday decided to inject $5 trillion into the global economy to counter the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Official sources said that all the members at the G20 virtual summit were cooperative and focused on the resolution of the crisis, the goal that had been set by this year’s chair King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.
None of the leaders made any reference to the origin of the virus, which is a subject of controversy and blame-game between China and the US at the moment.
The leaders of the 20 most powerful countries in the world unanimously agreed to collectively protect lives, provide help to all countries in need of assistance, coordinate on public health and financial measures, safeguard people’s jobs and incomes, restore confidence, preserve financial stability, revive growth and recover stronger.
In a joint statement, the G20 members said they will “minimise the economic and social damage from the pandemic, restore global growth, maintain market stability and strengthen resilience.”
Sources said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the summit made a pertinent point about how G20, which had mostly been a platform for financial and economic interests of individual countries, for the first time was serving the humanity and touching upon the human aspects of global collective conscience.
Though the pandemic has hit globalisation, Modi at the summit said that the coming together of the world leaders for a humanitarian cause was a new form of globalisation.
All the members also extended full support to the WHO mandate even as the organisation has drawn enormous flak for not alerting the world in time about the nature of the pandemic.
Leaders of the 20 major economies participated in the summit, in a first, by a video link. It was also for the first time that the G20 members came together to address a humanitarian crisis that erupted due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected over 490,000 people around the globe besides claiming more than 22,000 lives.
Even as the summit was going on, many citizens across the world on social media criticised it, arguing that G20 summit involving China, where the Covid-19 outbreak originated, was “worthless”.
Many called WHO irresponsible and dangerous. “In the coronavirus epidemic, international cooperation has broken down,” social media influencer Gordon G. Chang tweeted.
BY AARTI TIKOO SINGH