Guterres urges G20 to act on vax equity, debt relief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York, on Dec. 9, 2020. (Xinhua/Xie E)

United Nations, July 10 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged the G20 member nations to address Covid-19 vaccine gap, provide debt relief to developing economies, and finance climate action.

Guterres made the remarks while virtually addressing the third meeting of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, which was being held in Venice, Italy, reports Xinhua news agency.

Friday’s meeting was held behind closed doors, said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman of the UN chief.

The Secretary-General reiterated his call for a global vaccination plan to at least double the production of vaccines and to ensure equitable distribution, using COVAX as the platform, said Dujarric.

Guterres said many developing countries are teetering on the verge of debt default.

He called on the G20 to expand the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and Common Framework for Debt Treatment to include vulnerable middle-income countries and small island developing states.

On climate change, Guterres said he was deeply concerned over the lack of progress on public climate financing and once again called on the G20 to mobilise $100 billion annually for developing countries, as agreed to in 2009.

Guterres told the ministers that to restore trust in multilateralism, there is a need to deliver on vaccines, economic recovery and climate finance, said the spokesman.

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