G20 leaders commit to have 70% of the world’s population vaccinated against Covid by 2022

Rome.- The leaders of the 20 main economies on the planet began their first face-to-face summit this Saturday in Rome since the onset of the coronavirus, under pressure to send a strong signal against global warming on the eve of COP26 in Glasgow.

“We have a moment now to try to take some of the nebulous Paris commitments, solidify them into strong and swift commitments to cut emissions, cars and coal,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told ITW television.

Climate is on the agenda of the two-day G20 summit in the Eternal City, but the leaders wanted to pay tribute to the medical personnel on the front line of the Covid-19 crisis, who posed with the leaders in the traditional photo of family.

For the first face-to-face summit from Osaka in 2019, eyes are also on the corridors of “La Nube”, as the ultra-modern Congress Center that hosts the meeting is known, with bilateral meetings between leaders.

Argentina’s Alberto Fernández thus launched a diplomatic offensive with talks with leaders of Germany, France, Spain and the European Union (EU), before meeting in the afternoon with the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva.

The second meeting in Rome between Fernández and Georgieva, after the one held in May in the Italian capital, occurs when Argentina renegotiates with the Washington-based monetary institution a debt of 44,000 million dollars.

“If we still do not close an agreement [con el FMI] it is because we are not going to kneel, “said on Wednesday Fernández, who, along with Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro, are the only leaders of Latin America in Rome in the absence of Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

AMLO’s is not the only one. Chinese President Xi Jinping, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida participated by videoconference in the meeting with the leaders of the United States, Europe or India, among others.

Increase climate ambition?

To guarantee security in Rome, especially in the neighborhood devised by the dictator Benito Mussolini at the beginning of the 20th century and where the summit is held, 5,000 members of the forces of order were deployed, as well as helicopters and drones.

In the center of the capital, in the early afternoon thousands of people participated in a march for the climate to demand from the leaders of the main economies of the planet a greater ambition to fight against climate change.

Despite the expectations, no great progress is expected on the meeting topics, beyond the ratification by the leaders of the pact reached weeks ago to apply a worldwide corporate tax of 15% from 2023.

This old initiative received a boost with the arrival of Joe Biden to the White House, who thanked his peers for supporting the tax. The leaders of Brazil, France and South Korea explicitly expressed their support during the summit, according to a diplomatic source.

On climate, the discussion is still open. “There are two parallel debates: Should we increase our common ambition at the G20 level, reinforcing the climate neutrality goals? And what are the concrete goals?” Said the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, upon his arrival.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already advanced on the way to the G20 that they will not stop “climate change either in Rome or at the COP meeting” in Glasgow. “The most we can hope for is to slow the rise” in temperatures.

In Paris in 2015, the international community pledged to strive to limit global warming to +1.5 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era and, in Scotland, they must set the medium-term timetable for actions, such as reducing the emission of polluting gases .

Morally unacceptable

The devastating effects of the coronavirus, both human and economic, focused on the menu of this Saturday’s meeting, as well as the debt of the poorest countries, which demand that developed nations stop hoarding vaccines against Covid.

“In high-income countries, more than 70% of the population received at least one dose. In poor countries, this percentage drops to approximately 3%,” lamented Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, for whom this is ” morally unacceptable “.

The G20 expressed its support for the World Health Organization (WHO) goal of achieving 40% of the population vaccinated against Covid-19 by 2021 and 70% by mid-2022, but NGOs expect concrete commitments from the leaders to help poor countries.

Both Xi and Putin asked the G20 leaders for “mutual recognition” of the vaccines produced in their respective countries, according to their speeches broadcast on state television. “All the countries that need it cannot access vaccines” against Covid, the Russian assured.

After a preview on Friday marked by Pope Francis’ diplomacy, the parallel meetings continue this Saturday, including on the reactivation of the nuclear agreement with Iran between the leaders of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.


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