On the eve of the 16th Group of 20 (G20) Leaders' Summit in Rome, leaders of several multinational organizations called on the Group comprising 19 countries plus the European Union (EU) to strengthen joint efforts to address global challenges.
There were "dangerous levels of mistrust" between nations, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Friday, hoping that the forthcoming summit, which will take place this weekend, could help address this predicament.
Guterres also urged the Group, which covers almost two-thirds of the world's population, about 86 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 75 percent of global trade, to deliver more aid to poor countries, through debt relief and increased access to COVID-19 vaccinations.
Before leaving from Brussels for Rome, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday at a press conference that G20 would commit to the goal of having 70 percent of the global population fully vaccinated by mid-2022, pledging to donate more than 500 million doses of vaccines until mid-next year.
Von der Leyen highlighted the importance of investing in global pandemic preparedness, to prepare the world for potential health threats in the future and strengthen the resilience of healthcare systems.
Noting that G20 leaders will discuss at the summit how to ensure robust and fair global economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, rising energy prices and interruption of supply chains, von der Leyen said the EU stands ready to quickly implement the global tax reform, on which G20 leaders are expected to agree at the summit.
On climate change, von der Leyen called for more global leadership and actions. "We need leadership for credible commitments for decarbonisation to reach the goal of net zero by mid-century, but we also need sufficient commitments to really cut the emissions this decade," she said.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), called on G20 economies to continue to unwind pandemic-related trade restrictions and push for a strong WTO response to the pandemic.
According to Italy, the summit's agenda will cover the most pressing global health and economic issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the need for the most developed economies to boost a fair and equitable global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, especially to low-income countries.
World leaders are also expected to discuss digital transformation, and sustainable innovation, along with such issues as the situation in Afghanistan.
The 16th Group of 20 Leaders' Summit is scheduled to be held on Saturday and Sunday both online and offline.