- On Tuesday, the foreign ministers of the G20 met face-to-face for the first time in two years.
- Italy, which is the rotating presidency of the G20, has stated that it will pay special attention to Africa and emphasize sustainable development.
- “We must provide more vaccines to more places,” said U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken.
The foreign ministers of the major economies of the Group of 20 (G20) held their first face-to-face meeting in two years on Tuesday. The host, Italy, aims to promote multilateral therapy in response to global crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
The one-day gathering in the hot southern city of Matera will discuss how to strengthen cooperation on a range of issues, including global health, climate emergencies and international trade.
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio (Luigi Di Maio) said at the meeting: “The pandemic highlights the need for international responses to emergencies that cross national borders.”
Italy, which is the rotating presidency of the G20, has stated that it will pay special attention to Africa and emphasize sustainable development.
The smallest. @LuigiDiMaio it has started #G20 The foreign ministers’ meeting will be held in Matera. #G20ItalyThe first conference will focus on global governance and multilateralism. The second is about the relationship with the African continent, with special attention to sustainable development. pic.twitter.com/idPFeBDHJ8
— G20 Italy (@g20org) June 29, 2021
G20 members account for more than 80% of the world’s GDP, 75% of global trade and 60% of the earth’s population. People in Matera include senior diplomats from the United States, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, and India.
The foreign ministers of China, Brazil and Australia chose to follow the discussion through video links, and Russia and South Korea sent deputy ministers.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expressed his dissatisfaction with China and Russia providing vaccines to improve their status in certain countries.
“(This) is not to gain short-term geostrategic advantages,” he said before the meeting.
US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken reiterated the importance of bringing vaccines to poorer countries where doses may be difficult to obtain.
He said: “In order to end the pandemic, we must provide more vaccines to more places.”
He said that the health crisis has exacerbated global economic inequality, and the G20 will continue to help low-income countries solve their “serious debt vulnerabilities.”
Italy is the seat of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agency. It has invited the Minister of Development and hopes to put global food security and nutrition first.
Given the wide range of countries in the G20, reaching agreement may be difficult, but analysts say the fact that ministers have resumed face-to-face meetings and made concerted efforts to call for greater cooperation is important.
Antonio Villafranca, research director of the International Policy Institute, said: “It is difficult to expect Matera to achieve concrete results.”
“However, in the context of increasing international tensions, reaffirming the multilateral commitment and understanding of issues that may converge among countries is already a result that should not be underestimated.”
(Additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk in Matera and Andreas Rinke in Berlin, edited by Timothy Heritage)