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G-20 summit opens as leaders urge united response to virus

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G-20 summit opens as leaders urge united response to virus

Three G-20 leaders participating in the summit have been infected by the coronavirus this year: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Internet giants have benefited greatly from the shift to tele-working forced upon the world economy by the pandemic, and European countries have always been pushing to tax them where they make their profits, rather than where they establish their subsidiaries for tax optimization purposes.

The promise is contained in a final communique released today by the leaders of the world's 20 richest countries following two days of virtual discussions hosted by Saudi Arabia. One European source said Mr. Trump's remarks were focused on what he described as an unprecedented USA recovery and the United States drive to develop its own vaccines.

The summit is the second G20 Leaders' meeting this year.

The G20 statement did not directly address an urgent appeal by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who said 28 billion dollars (£20.9 billion) in additional investment is needed for mass manufacturing, procurement and delivery of new Covid-19 vaccines around the world, including four billion dollars (£2.99 billion) immediately.

China has proposed a global mechanism on the mutual recognition of health certificates based on nucleic acid test results in the form of internationally accepted QR codes, he said.

"We will honour our commitment of giving assistance and support to other developing countries, and work to make vaccines a global public good accessible and affordable to people around the world", he said.

There had been questions as to whether Mr Trump would log into the virtual summit at all, considering he is pre-occupied with disputing Joe Biden's election victory, despite no evidence of voter fraud being uncovered.

"President Erdogan and King Salman agreed on keeping channels of dialogue open in order for the bilateral relations to be enhanced and for issues to be settled", the presidency said.

But the group faces mounting pressure to help stave off possible credit defaults among developing nations, as their debt soars amid the economic catastrophe stoked by the virus. The United States has declined to join under Trump, saying COVAX was "influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China".

The draft also calls on private creditors to join the debt servicing moratorium, which the G20 wants to extend until the middle of 2021 and possibly longer, and endorses a common framework for dealing with debt issues beyond that.

International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva has warned that the global economy faces a hard road back from the Covid-19 downturn even as vaccines are now in sight.

Saudi Arabia's human rights record has cast a shadow on the gathering, as campaigners and families of jailed activists launch vigorous drives to highlight the issue.

The case has sparked an worldwide outcry and tarnished the global reputation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman known as MBS.

"Instead of signalling its concern for Saudi Arabia's serious abuses, the G20 is bolstering the Saudi government's well-funded publicity efforts to portray the country as "reforming" despite a significant increase in repression", said Michael Page from Human Rights Watch.

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