New Delhi/Riyadh: The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge the world is facing since World War-II and is an important turning point in the history of humanity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the G20 summit on Saturday, as he offered India’s IT prowess for efficient functioning of the grouping.
Modi also said that “Work from Anywhere” is a new normal in the post-COVID world and suggested creation of a virtual G20 secretariat.
The prime minister also suggested developing a new global index for the post-corona world that comprises four key elements — creation of a vast talent pool, ensuring that technology reaches all segments of society, transparency in systems of governance and dealing with Mother Earth with a spirit of trusteeship.
Based on this, the G20 can lay the foundation of a new world, he said.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman opened the Group of 20 summit as the coronavirus pandemic overshadows this year’s gathering of heads of state that is being held in the virtual format. India is scheduled to host the G20 summit in 2022.
“Had a very fruitful discussion with G20 leaders. Coordinated efforts by the largest economies of the world will surely lead to faster recovery from this pandemic. Thanked Saudi Arabia for hosting the Virtual Summit,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.
“Transparency in our processes helps in inspiring our societies to fight crisis collectively and with confidence. Spirit of trusteeship towards planet Earth will inspire us for a healthy and holistic lifestyle,” he said.
Modi offered India’s IT prowess to further develop digital facilities for efficient functioning of the G20.
The prime minister termed the COVID-19 pandemic as an important turning point in history of humanity and the biggest challenge the world is facing since World War II, a Ministry of External Affairs statement said.
The pandemic, which has claimed more than 1.37 million lives worldwide, has offered the G-20 an opportunity to prove how such bodies can facilitate international cooperation in crises but has also underscored their shortcomings.
Saudi Arabia, which assumed the G-20 presidency this year, is the host of the virtual summit that is bringing together leaders from the world’s richest and most developed economies, such as the US, China, India, Turkey, France, the UK and Brazil, among others.
G-20 leaders vowed to share information and the material needed for research, to exchange epidemiological and clinical data, and to strengthen health systems.
The G-20’s member countries represent around 85 per cent of the world’s economic output and three-quarters of international trade.
They have promised to work together to increase funding for vaccine research.
While quick research and sharing of scientific information for the development of COVID-19 tests and vaccines has happened, individual G-20 countries have mostly focused on securing their own vaccine supplies.
(With inputs from agencies)