G20 summit in Rome: a symbolic kick-off


Status: 10/30/2021 5:41 pm

The first day of the G20 summit in Rome was dominated by the corona crisis. One thing is clear: more people should be vaccinated. But how? The heads of state and government set an example with the group photo.

By Jörg Seisselberg, ARD-Studio Rome

The most experienced participant came as one of the last: An hour before the beginning of the summit, Angela Merkel landed in Rome – and shortly afterwards, during the traditional handshake with the host Mario Draghi in front of the conference center, she was greeted one last time. The Chancellor will appear at the G20 summit together with her likely successor, Olaf Scholz, who will officially be present in his role as Minister of Finance.

Jörg Seisselberg
ARD-Studio Rom

At the start of the summit, the heads of state and government committed, among other things, to the goal of massively increasing the vaccination rate in the Covid pandemic worldwide. In their final declaration it should be stipulated that they want to vaccinate at least 70 percent of the people in the world by the middle of next year.

Italy’s head of government and G20 host Draghi urged rich countries to take seriously the vaccination promise for everyone: “In countries with high incomes, more than 70 percent of the population have already received at least one vaccination. In poorer countries it is only around three percent. These differences are morally unacceptable and undermine global recovery. “

“We need a concrete timetable”

The non-governmental organizations say it is overdue to accelerate the global vaccination campaign. Friederike Röder, vice-president of the humanitarian aid organization Global Citizen, warns, however, that non-binding declarations of intent should not be left behind. “What we need on the one hand is a clear goal, which the whole world community agrees on with the G20 in the leadership role. But what we also need is a clear roadmap to get to these 70 percent.”

China’s President Xi Jinping, who is not personally present in Rome, campaigned in his video stream speech, for example, to partially suspend patents for corona vaccine.

Anja Miller, ARD Rom, with impressions from the G20 summit

tagesschau24 4:00 p.m., 10/30/2021

Commitment to the global minimum tax

Global economy and global health were the main themes of the first day of the summit, on which the heads of state and government also committed themselves to the introduction of a global minimum tax. This decision marks a turning point, G20 chairman Draghi emphasized: “We have reached an historic agreement for a fairer and more effective international tax system.”

With the global minimum tax of 15 percent, large corporations such as Amazon, Google and Facebook are expected to pay more taxes worldwide in the future. There was “broad and transnational support” for this, according to participants. US President Joe Biden has also signaled his approval.

Vladimir Putin, who, like his Chinese counterpart, is not personally present in Rome, has already indicated that tomorrow’s discussion on climate protection is likely to be difficult. In his speech, Russia’s president made it clear via video that he is not prepared to discuss future energy supplies primarily with a view to climate protection. On the stability of the global energy markets, Putin emphasized: “Russia is proposing a fundamental discussion on this topic, in a pragmatic tone, based solely on economic thinking.”

A gesture of gratitude

On the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome there were largely peaceful protests by climate activists and anti-globalizationists, with one road blocked. According to estimates by the police, almost 3,000 participants took part in a demonstration in the city center.

The summit day began with a special group photo. Host Draghi, together with the heads of state and government, asked doctors and paramedics to be included in the picture. As a gesture of thanks to the helpers during the Covid pandemic, which hit Italy particularly hard in the early months.

G20 wants global vaccination campaign – Draghi appeal to rich countries

Jörg Seisselberg, ARD Rome, 10/30/2021 4:56 p.m.


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