ISSN 2330-717X

G-20 Meet On COVID-19 In A Vacuum – OpEd


G-20, which has a membership of “rich” countries, held a virtual conference to discuss about the impact of the COVID 19 crisis.

The immediate impression that one gains  is that this conference should have been organized by the UN Secretary General under the auspices of UNO, as it is a problem that has affected around 190 countries in the world. Alternately, it could have been organized by WHO which is a wing of UNO, if the discussions would be only confined to the health factors. However, G-20 was organized by member  countries, as if  G-20 is the representative gathering of the world community and the members of G-20 seem to have arrogated to themselves  the right to decide on behalf of the world,.

It is a pathetic scenario that UNO or WHO are conspicuous by absence in the G-20 meet, even in advisory capacity.

Obviously, G-20 appears to be a parallel organization for UNO, which in effect, mean that UNO ,where there are more than 185 members, is sidelined. Pathetically,  U N Secretary General and WHO just appealed to the G-20 members to  carry on war against COVID 19 and one is not sure as to whether G-20 members cared  to hear this appeal at all.

After carefully studying the proceedings of the G-20 meet, it is clear that cosmetic speeches were made by the participating leaders and finally 5 trillion US dollars was committed by them to revive the global economy.

The urgent and fundamental requisite to revive the global economy is to wipe out the COVID 19  all over the world and ensure that such virus would not happen again. The ball is clearly in the court of medical researchers and these politicians attending the G-20 meet can only be observers and donors.

It is well known that COVID 19 originated in China and China informed WHO officially about this virus only by end December 2019. The world was caught unaware.

As China was the originator of the virus with large number of people being infected and as China is now claiming that it has now nearly contained the virus, one tends to think that China must have huge data base and information on the subject.

The G-20 meet did not ask China to share its data with the world and explain how it “contained” the virus. 

It is reported that more than one hundred medical research organisations across the world are now working to develop vaccine / drug to treat Covid 19. There is no coordination between these research organisations and each seem to be working independently, perhaps, with these research bodies wanting to be the first to successfully develop the drug and get the world patent.

Now, that COVID 19 has  spread to 190 countries that have different climatic and tropical conditions, different eating and other habits amongst people, it is possible that the vaccine developed  may not be suitable for use across the world. Obviously, coordinated global efforts are called for to carry out clinical trials across the world and carry out research projects in different regions to develop appropriate drug for the region.

Why did the G-20 members did not care to discuss this aspect?

As the G-20 member countries are supposed to be rich and scientifically advanced, they should have called for world conference of medical researchers immediately to discuss the issue in depth and evolve a time bound and well coordinated action plan.

Further, to prove the efficacy of the developed vaccine, clinical trials have to be carried out across the world and cooperation of around 190 countries are required for this. Therefore, all the 190 countries should have been taken into confidence, which G-20 members did not care to do.

The net result is that G-20 meet has been a cosmetic show,  that really means nothing for global fight against COVID 19, for all practical purposes.

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N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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