RIYADH (RAHNUMA) Prince Faisal bin Farhan Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, September 3, 2020, I thank you all for coming together today, and for all of your ongoing efforts during this severe health crisis and the economic and social impacts that have come from it.
Before I begin, allow me to express condolences for the loss of life and the suffering faced by people around the world and to give my deepest gratitude to the frontline health workers.
In 2008, G20 Leaders met to tackle what then was the greatest economic and financial crisis in over 50 years.
We find ourselves in an even more complex and challenging situation today as our governments tackle the intertwined effects of a global health and economic crisis.
As the chair of the G20 Presidency, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia called for An extraordinary summit on March 26th, in which the G20 Leaders committed to supporting the international efforts to counter the pandemic, safeguard the global economy and enhance global cooperation.
The pandemic is a global challenge that requires an effective and coordinated global response.
The subsequent work that came from our leader’s commitments is ongoing and we have already seen great strides as G20 countries’ significant contributions of $21 billion to close the financing gap to support international efforts to fight the pandemic.
The G20 is focused on addressing economic and development issues and as foreign ministers; we typically play a supporting role to the work being done on those important issues.
But as our leaders stated in their extraordinary statement, the virus respects no borders and that has meant that cooperation among states is more important than ever.
COVID-19 has led us all to restrict our borders as we continue to coordinate with the relevant health authorities and assess the health situation on a national and global scale.
We all had to deal with the challenge of bringing home our citizens who were stranded by the global travel restrictions and it was gratifying to see the spirit of cooperation and support with which the global community responded. In that regard, I would like to personally thank the 124 nations who were supportive in bringing back our Saudi citizen.
For that reason, we felt it would be valuable to come together in this forum to share experiences and best practices, as we look forward to an eventual easing of travel restriction and returning to normal lives.
Our meeting today will signal to the world that we care and have a unified focus on dealing with the crisis.
We look forward to the upcoming joint G20 Finance and Health ministers meeting and as foreign ministers, we will take any action required to facilitate the necessary measures agreed upon.
We are one world, and we are one community and we must work together to support each other through this crisis.