Against such a backdrop, the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies gathered in Italy’s Rome on Saturday trying to make the multilateral platform work again — just as it did when they held two summits a year in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 global financial meltdown.
China, the important growth engine of the global economy, highlighted cooperation, inclusiveness and green development at the 16th Group of 20 (G20) Leaders’ Summit.
Cooperation against pandemic
As the COVID-19 still ravages the world, global vaccine cooperation was prioritized by Chinese President Xi Jinping when delivering his speech via video at the first session of the summit.
He proposed a six-point Global Vaccine Cooperation Action Initiative with a focus on vaccine R&D cooperation, fair distribution of vaccines, waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines, smooth trade in vaccines, mutual recognition of vaccines and financial support for global vaccine cooperation.
Inequality in vaccine distribution is prominent, with low-income countries receiving less than 0.5 percent of the global total and less than 5 percent of Africa’s population is fully vaccinated, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO has set two targets to deal with the pandemic: to vaccinate at least 40 percent of the world’s population by the end of this year and increase it to 70 percent by mid-2022.
“China is ready to work with all parties to increase the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries and make positive contributions to building a global vaccine defense line,” Xi said.
China has provided over 1.6 billion doses of vaccines for over 100 countries and international organizations to date. In total, China will provide over 2 billion doses for the world in the whole year, he added, noting that China is conducting joint vaccine production with 16 countries.
Building open world economy
In promoting the economic recovery, the president stressed that the G20 should prioritize development in macro policy coordination, calling for making global development more equitable, effective and inclusive to ensure that no country will be left behind.
“Advanced economies should fulfill their pledges on official development assistance and provide more resources for developing countries,” Xi said.
He also welcomed the active participation of more countries in the Global Development Initiative.
Not long ago, he proposed the Global Development Initiative at the United Nations and called on the international community to strengthen cooperation in areas of poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines, development financing, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity.
The initiative is highly compatible with the G20’s goal and priority of promoting global development, Xi said.
Adherence to green development
Meanwhile, addressing climate change is high on the global agenda as the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will open on Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland.
In this context, Xi urged developed countries to lead by example on emissions reduction, saying that countries should fully accommodate the special difficulties and concerns of developing countries, deliver on their commitments of climate financing, and provide technology, capacity-building and other support for developing countries.
“This is critically important for the success of the upcoming COP26,” he said.
Xi has, on many occasions, highlighted China’s view on global climate governance and expressed China’s firm support for the Paris Agreement, facilitating major progress at the global level.
In 2015, Xi delivered a keynote speech at the Paris Conference on Climate Change, making a historic contribution to the conclusion of the Paris Agreement on global climate action after 2020.
Earlier this month, he emphasized efforts to achieve China’s carbon peak and neutrality targets when addressing the leaders’ summit of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The G20 summit this year was held both online and offline under the Italian Presidency, focusing on the most pressing global challenges, with issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and economic recovery topping the agenda.
Created in 1999, the G20 comprising 19 countries plus the European Union, is the main forum for international cooperation on financial and economic issues.
The group accounts for almost two-thirds of the world’s population, over 80 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product and 75 percent of global trade.