Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is leading a extraordinary meeting of the Group of 20 leaders (G20) where all delegates are putting social distancing to the extreme in a virtual conference, with all delegates dialling in from around the world.
The meeting will discuss steps how on to combat the coronavirus pandemic that has forced three billion people into lockdown and claimed more than 21,000 lives and crippled global economies.
At 14:00 (GMT) World leaders were connected via video link in a show of unity for the meeting chaired by King Salman, and the meeting is underway.
In his opening speech King Salman started by urging G20 leaders on Thursday to take firm measures and “effective and coordinated” action to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“It is our responsibility to extend a helping hand to developing countries and least developed countries to enable them to build their capacities and improve their infrastructure to overcome this crisis and its repercussions,”the king said.
“This crisis requires a global response, and the world is counting on us to cooperate and work together to face it.
“We must also strengthen the global preparedness to counter infectious diseases that may spread in the future.”
The impact of this pandemic has spread to reach the global economy, financial markets, trade, and global supply chains, hampering growth and development and reversing the gains accomplished in the previous years.
This human crisis requires a global response. The world counts on us to come together and cooperate in order to face this challenge.