At G20 Summit EU puts priority on health, economy and climate

The event could mark a new beginning for global cooperation, von der Leyen says

In a press conference on Friday, President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and President of the European Council, Charles Michel, presented the EU priorities for the G20 virtual Leaders' Summit. They jointly will represent the EU at the summit on 21 and 22 November. 

The EU is sparing no effort to tackle the far-reaching consequences of this crisis and calls for continued investment in research and deployment of a future vaccine and therapeutics, while ensuring their affordable and equitable access for all people globally. The ACT-Accelerator and its COVAX Facility are EU’s main tools to do so.

The upcoming G20 Summit this weekend could mark a new beginning for global cooperation, President von der Leyen said. She also underlined that the G20 has proven a strong pillar and a key partner for the European Union, “helping us to keep international cooperation running”.

Some of the main areas we have been working on in the G20 context are health, the economy, climate change and better environmental protection to prevent future disasters, von der Leyen specified.

President Michel accented that in many ways, this G20 Summit will be about what a post-Covid world will look like and “what we want it to look like”. He set forth the idea that an international Treaty on Pandemics could help prevent future pandemics and help respond more quickly and in a more coordinated manner.

“It should be negotiated with all nations, UN organizations and agencies, in particular the WHO. The WHO must remain the cornerstone of global coordination against health emergencies. A Treaty on Pandemics could complement its efforts.”

Michel also described how climate goals are linked to the trade and finance policies. We firmly support open trade and we need to reform the WTO to make our international trade policies greener, he said.

The EU will call on G20 Leaders to respond to their immediate financing needs, providing $4.5bn before the end of the year. The Union is also focused on supporting European economies, as well as developing and low-income countries, backing the extension of the debt suspension until mid-2021 with the possibility of an additional 6-month extension thereafter. Turning challenges into an opportunity to build back better, the EU will promote at the G20 a recovery based on green, inclusive, sustainable, resilient and digital growth by implementing the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.

The summit will also be an occasion to reaffirm the EU's commitment to the rules-based international order and free and fair trade. The EU will advocate as well for gender equality and decent work conditions for all, including within global supply chains, and continued efforts to eradicate child labour, forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery.

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