King Salman asserted that combating the coronavirus pandemic is “our top priority”.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by Saudi Arabia’s Human Resources Minister Ahmed Al-Rajhi at the launch of the L20 Workers Communication Group in the G20 on Monday, King Salman said: “Our utmost current priority is overcoming the pandemic and its health, social, and economic impacts.”
King Salman said that our efforts in the G20 this year are focused on several key areas; the most important of which is international collaboration in developing vaccines for COVID-19; ensuring equitable and fair access to vaccines for everyone. While taking into account the needs of low-income countries; and drawing on the lessons learned from this pandemic to ensure a better future in the face of health and economical challenges.
“Safeguarding lives and livelihood is at the top of our priorities as G20 leaders,” the King asserted.
King Salman also said that the Saudi G20 Presidency has focused on discussing policies related to labor; maintaining financial stability; minimizing trade tensions, promoting global supply chains; offering assistance to all countries in need, and coordinating public health and financial measures.
“Considering the current pandemic, the importance of social protection networks prevails for all forms of work and all worker categories; especially freelancers and online platform workers. The G20 is focusing this year on scaling up efforts to strengthen social protection and make it more inclusive,” he added.
King Salman emphasized the important role of women and youth while drafting labor policies; keeping in mind technological developments and demographic changes.
“We pay careful attention to women, youth, and young entrepreneurs to facilitate their access to labor markets.
In the context of empowering people and expanding opportunities; the G20 Saudi Presidency agenda also focused on empowering women holistically under its different tracks; include a set of sectoral initiatives that target groups who have the least access to opportunities, King Salman pointed out.
He also stressed that the G20 believes that enabling women to access opportunities is an integral part of any sustainable and comprehensive developmental approach. In this regard, women’s empowerment in leadership positions become an important factor of ensuring women’s participation in decision-making and contribution to the prosperity of societies.
“We have accelerated international efforts through the G20 to discuss financial inclusion and access to financial services as key pillars of expanding opportunities; and harnessing new technologies and innovations to enable disadvantaged groups; especially women and the youth, to have access to financial services,” he added.
Concluding his speech, King Salman also said that at the Riyadh Summit; we look forward to agreeing on solutions and initiatives that promote the G20 role in unifying the international response to tackle the economic, social, and health impacts of coronavirus.