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World|politics|November 1, 2021 / 09:26 AM
PM Modi attends G20 summit in Rome - focus on health and global economy

AKIPRESS.COM - Leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies assembled in Rome to attend G20 leaders' summit on Saturday and Sunday, news9live reported.

Attending their first in-person summit in two years, G20 leaders pledged to vaccinate 70% of the world's population against COVID-19 by mid-2022 and broadly backed calls to extend debt relief for impoverished countries.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his intervention at the first session, which focussed on health issues, highlighted India's contribution to fight against COVID-19. He conveyed that India is ready to produce 5 billion COVID vaccine doses by the end of next year. He mentioned India's medical supplies to over 150 countries and spoke about the country’s vision of One Earth, One Health which is essentially collaborative approach in fight against COVID, Indian foreign ministry officials said.

The PM invited G20 countries to make India their partner in economic recovery and supply chain diversification. Modi also brought out the fact that despite challenges of the pandemic, India continued to be a trusted partner in context of reliable supply chains.

On Saturday, PM Modi held separate meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Modi invited Macron to visit India. During Modi-Macron meeting, no discussion on AUKUS and QUAD came up. He had a meeting with US President Joe Biden on Sunday.

PM Modi met Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday and invited the Pope to visit India. "You (PM Modi) have given me the greatest gift. I am looking forward to visiting India," Pope Francis was quoted as saying.

Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to meet Francis since he became Pope in 2013.This was the first meeting between an Indian Prime Minister and the Pope in more than two decades. In June 2000, late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had last visited the Vatican and met the then Pope, His Holiness John Paul II.

From Rome, Modi will travel to Glasgow, the UK, to attend COP26 summit, at the invitation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The G20 bloc, which includes Brazil, China, India, Germany and the United States, that accounts for an estimated 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but hopes the Rome meeting might pave the way to success in Scotland have dimmed considerably.

The G20 leaders endorsed a global minimum tax aimed at stopping big business from hiding profits in tax havens, and also agreed to get more COVID vaccines to poorer nations.

Italy, hosting the gathering in Rome, put health and the economy at the top of the agenda for the first day of the meeting, with the more difficult climate discussions set for Sunday.

Addressing the opening of the meeting, held in a steel and glass convention centre, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said governments had to work together to face up to the formidable challenges facing their people.

"From the pandemic, to climate change, to fair and equitable taxation, going it alone is simply not an option," Draghi said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia's Vladimir Putin both decided to follow events through video link and diplomats looking to seal a meaningful accord said both countries, as well as India, were resisting ambitious new climate goals.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on G20 countries to accelerate the mutual recognition of each other's Covid-19 vaccines. Putin, also said that the World Health Organisation should be quicker to make decisions on approving vaccines.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged the G20 and COP26 talks would be difficult, but warned that without courageous action, world civilisation could collapse as swiftly as the ancient Roman empire, ushering in a new Dark Age.

"It's going to be very, very tough to get the agreement we need," he told reporters, standing next to the ruins of the Colosseum amphitheatre - a symbol of once mighty Rome.

According to the final communique, the Group of 20 leaders agreed to end public financing for coal-fired power generation abroad. The G20 meeting set no target for phasing out coal domestically. The G20 will "put an end to the provision of international public finance for new unabated coal power generation abroad by the end of 2021," said the draft, referring to fossil fuels whose emissions have not gone through any filtering process.

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