United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks at a press conference at the UN Headquarters in New York, Nov. 20, 2020. Antonio Guterres on Friday called on the leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) to act and cooperate to collectively cope with common threats and challenges before meeting with them online over the weekend. (Xinhua/Xie E)
"We have a moral obligation to ensure that the trillions of dollars for COVID-19 recovery - money that we are borrowing from future generations - does not leave them burdened by a mountain of debt on a broken planet."
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday that the leadership of the Group of 20 (G20) is vital in the global struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our greatest defense against COVID-19 is solidarity and cooperation," the UN chief was speaking at a virtual summit of G20 leaders under the theme "Building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future," where he highlighted the importance of G20 leadership in the fight against the pandemic and the effort to build back better.
First of all, the secretary-general said that the G20 leadership is critical in "halting the further spread of the pandemic."
"Yesterday, I was encouraged by the broad recognition that vaccines - as well as tests and treatments - must be global public goods, available and affordable for all," he said, referring to the progress in the first-day meeting of the summit.
"But I want to repeat the call on G20 members to support the ACT-Accelerator and its COVAX facility. There is a financial gap of 28 billion U.S. dollars and we need 4.2 billion dollars of that immediately for mass manufacturing, procurement and distribution around the world," he said.