Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
China Daily Global / 2020-03 / 26 / Page011

Emergency G20 video summit must come up with the goods

China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-03-26 00:00

At a time when country after country has come to a virtual standstill and billions of people are being told to stay indoors, the special G20 video summit being hosted by Saudi Arabia on Thursday cannot be a virtual meet-and-greet for the leaders of the developed and major developing countries.

Instead, the leaders should use it to come up with a practical, coordinated response to address the novel coronavirus pandemic and its effects.

This is no time for dilly-dallying and the usual jostling for advantage. The pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on countries around the world, and it will have a huge impact on the global economy, which is set to slip into negative growth this year-"a recession at least as bad as during the global financial crisis or worse", International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva warned on Monday.

Influencing both supply and demand at the same time, almost all the major economies are being seriously affected by the rapid spread of the coronavirus, which had infected about 420,000 people in more than 180 countries and regions as of Wednesday, claiming nearly 19,000 lives.

The G20 leaders must cherish the opportunity of the summit to strengthen their coordination; the world needs specific measures not just general assurances that they intend to act.

As such, it is to be hoped that participants in the meeting can lay aside their disputes and focus on rolling out workable plans with detailed actions aimed at not only defeating the virus but also bolstering the world economy.

The immediate priority is to strengthen health systems and cut the transmission of the virus; the faster the pandemic is brought under control, the quicker the world will be able to get back on its feet. Taking bold actions to protect businesses and jobs will pay off in the long run, as will providing support for emerging markets and low-income countries.

As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a letter he sent to the G20 leaders on Monday, "massive support" is needed to prevent the coronavirus from spreading "like wildfire in the developing world" and to keep households, businesses and societies afloat.

Indeed, such actions are not really optional, they are essential if the pandemic is to be prevented from becoming an apocalyptic event.

The G20 leaders must demonstrate solidarity and resolve if the world is to be spared the worst.

All the disasters the world has experienced have been repaid by great progress. It is unlikely to be an exception this time. But the question is how high will be the price that the world has to pay for that, if countries do not work together for the good of all.

While that might take some time to become clear, it is sure to be a very high price indeed, if coordinated actions are not forthcoming.


Most Viewed

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349