G-20 News

G20: China wants real multilateralism

While China argued that multilateralism was not just a slogan, the United States (United States) called for greater global cooperation in light of the coronavirus crisis at its G20 meeting Tuesday.

Italy hosted foreign ministers from a group of 20 major economies in the southern city of Matera in the first face-to-face meeting since the start of the pandemic, which claimed the lives of nearly 4 million people around the world.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is a major reversal of the previous US administration, with multilateral agencies beating COVID-19, tackling growing global inequalities and stepping up the fight to stop climate change. I ask for.

“For these challenges and more, a strong multilateral system is essential,” Blinken concludes during his week-long trip to Europe.

“This is why the United States is committed to supporting effective and accountable multilateral institutions,” he said.

“We must deliver results for our country, our people and the world. “

Blinken called for efforts to “strengthen global health security so that future health emergencies can be better detected, prevented and treated.”

He has a pledge of US $ 2 billion to COVAX, a United Nations (UN) -supported initiative to immunize low-income countries, and President Joe Biden has US stocks.

Biden also relaxed some export restrictions and patents. This is a reversal from its predecessor, Donald Trump’s “America First” philosophy, which confused the pharmaceutical industry.

Biden’s vaccine initiative and preparations to attend the Blinken conference are in part designed to show strong American leadership in the face of China‘s rise to power.

“True multilateralism”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who virtually attended the Matera conference, did not name the United States, but suggested the motive behind the rhetoric when he called on the G20 to demonstrate a “True multilateralism”.

“China calls on relevant countries to avoid export restrictions and excessive hoarding of vaccines,” Wang said.

“Multilateralism is not a high-pitched slogan, it cannot be gift wrapping for unilateral actions,” he said.

Wang said Beijing exported 450 million doses. However, despite the short delivery time, the Sinovac vaccine made in China is under close scrutiny.

Chile, which has been heavily dependent on Sinovac, is considering introducing a third dose to protect it from new variants, but Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi recently showed Sinovac to be “insufficient”. I have. “

Matera talks set the stage for the G20 summit in Rome in October. In this conference, which will be the first summit meeting with Xi Jinping Jintao Biden China.

African concerns

As COVID concerns ease across the West, most doses of the vaccine are in the arms of wealthy countries and the Chinese.

Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundura of the Democratic Republic of the Congo participated in the promotion of Italy to involve African nations in the G20 negotiations, warning that the coronavirus was not over on his continent and calling urgent action.

In addition to emergency aid, he called on the G20 to support the capacity of developing countries to produce vaccines themselves and to help build continent-wide institutions to encourage scientific cooperation. .

He said the G20 must help “move concretely and in detail to emergency action on the ground beyond talk”.

Such cooperation “will help African countries to counter the impact of COVID and revive their economies for the greater benefit of the international community,” he said.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, the organizer of the event, announced the Matera Declaration on Food Safety.

“It is a concrete document and an invitation to act for the international community as a whole,” he said, noting that 850 million people in the world are suffering from famine.

“The world has reached zero hunger by 2030 and is not on track to end all forms of malnutrition,” a declaration adopted by the “emergency” minister to all nations to end the famine tragedy. I urged him to act. – AFP