Press Statement by The Global Governance Group (3G) on the Outcomes of the Virtual G20 Riyadh Summit, 21 to 22 November 2020

17 December 2020

1 The Global Governance Group (3G) The 3G comprises the following Member States of the United Nations: Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Costa Rica, Finland, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, San Marino, Senegal, Singapore, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Viet Nam. welcomes the outcomes of the virtual Group of Twenty (G20) Riyadh Summit held from 21 to 22 November 2020. The 3G further welcomes the G20’s reiteration of its commitment to galvanise global actions and multilateral cooperation to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and to lead the world in shaping a strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive post-COVID-19 era. We also commend the G20’s resolve to address other issues of global concern, including climate change, energy access, digitalisation, international taxation, debt suspension, sustainable development, employment, inequalities, and the empowerment of women, children and other vulnerable groups.

2 Given the tremendous global health, economic, and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 3G firmly believes that nobody is safe till everybody is safe. In this regard, the 3G applauds the G20’s efforts in mobilising resources to address the immediate financing needs in global health to support the research, development, manufacturing, and distribution of safe and effective COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines; and the pledge that the G20 will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people. In this light, the 3G commends the G20’s full support for all collaborative efforts on this front, especially the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) and its COVAX Facility, and takes note of other initiatives under the WHO which seek to support equitable global access to COVID-19 health technologies. The 3G encourages the G20 to strengthen its cooperation with the World Health Organisation. It further supports the G20’s commitment to advance global pandemic preparedness, prevention, detection, and response, and strengthen longer-term resilience in line with the One Health Approach.The 3G welcomes the G20’s acknowledgement of the critical role of water and sanitation to overcome the pandemic and the continued efforts to foster sustainable, resilient, and integrated water management.

3 The 3G welcomes the G20’s acknowledgement that supporting the multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its centre, is now as important as ever and that we should keep our markets open and connected. In this regard, it is important that we work to ensure that the WTO remains fit for purpose; and that trade restrictions remain targeted, proportionate, transparent, temporary and consistent with WTO rules. The 3G agrees that we should demonstrate our political support for the necessary reform of the WTO, including in the lead-up to the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference. The 3G encourages all WTO Members to work together to expeditiously complete the selection and appointment of a new WTO Director-General in accordance with the agreed rules and procedures. We are encouraged that the G20 committed to ensure that global transportation routes and supply chains remain open, safe, and secure, and that any restrictive travel measures related to COVID-19, including for air and sea crews, are in accordance with obligations under international agreements. In addition, we welcome the G20’s work to continue to explore concrete ways to facilitate the movement of people in a way that does not impede our efforts to protect public health.  

4 The 3G welcomes the G20’s recognition of the key role that connectivity, digital technologies, and policies have played in strengthening our response to the pandemic and facilitating the continuation of economic activity. The 3G agrees that universal, secure, and affordable connectivity is a fundamental enabler for the digital economy and a catalyst for inclusive growth, innovation and sustainable development. In this regard, the 3G welcomes the G20’s Policy Options to Support Digitalisation of Business Models during COVID-19, particularly in facilitating the increased participation of Micro-, Small-, Medium-sized enterprises in international trade and investment by supporting their digital transformation; thereby boosting job creation, innovation, development and fostering equity. The 3G also welcomes the G20 Smart Mobility Practices, as a contribution to the well-being and resilience of smart cities and communities, and the G20 Roadmap toward a Common Framework for Measuring the Digital Economy in closing measurement and implementation gaps for developing countries. 

5 The 3G further welcomes the G20’s call for collective efforts to tackle the long-term challenges of climate change, including its endorsement of the Circular Carbon Economy Platform with its 4Rs framework (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Remove), while recognising the key importance and ambition of reducing emissions. The 3G supports the promotion of green finance, use of clean technology and fostering of synergies between adaption and mitigation in our pursuit of green recovery and transition to a low-carbon economy. We further reaffirm our commitment to the Paris Agreement, and the full implementation of its goals and our Paris pledges, and calls on countries, big and small, to do their part as well and work together to achieve a successful 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. 

6 The 3G applauds the G20’s continued efforts to advance development in line with the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, including promoting infrastructure investment, sustainable financing, and human capital development to empower people for a sustainable and resilient future. The 3G commends the G20’s commitment to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), allowing DSSI-eligible countries to suspend official bilateral debt service payments. The 3G also welcomes the 2020 Annual Update, which outlines the international momentum towards implementation of the 2030 Agenda for the benefit for all, especially developing countries. The 3G also welcomes the G20 Guidelines on Quality Infrastructure for Regional Connectivity which aim to encourage trade, movement of people and local and regional development in developing countries. In addition, we commend the Saudi Presidency’s work on the G20 Support to COVID-19 Response and Recovery Plan in Developing Countries which seeks to support developing countries in overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic in critical areas, including debt vulnerability, financing for sustainable development, illicit financial flows, job creation and social protection, education, food security and nutrition, and environmental sustainability.

7 The 3G appreciates the outreach efforts undertaken by Saudi Arabia during its 2020 G20 Presidency, including its briefings to the 3G on its G20 priorities on the sidelines of UN meetings in New York in September 2019 and in January, September, and November 2020.  The 3G looks forward to its further engagement with the UN membership on the outcomes of the Riyadh Summit. The 3G further looks forward to continuing our constructive engagement with the Italian Presidency in 2021. The 3G reiterates its position that the UN is the only global body with universal participation and clear legitimacy, and calls on the G20 to implement actions that complement and strengthen the UN system.

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17 December 2020


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