Overnight I joined G20 leaders for an extraordinary Summit, hosted by His Majesty King Salman of Saudi Arabia.
The G20 has come together to tackle what will be one of the most difficult and severe crises any of us will face.
The COVID-19 virus respects no borders.
On behalf of Australia, I urged G20 leaders to do whatever it takes to fight this twin crisis: to save lives and overcome the pandemic, and to cushion the economic blow.
G20 Health Response
Working together our countries can speed up research and the discovery of a vaccine and anti-viral drugs.
We will work in partnership on a vaccine.
We may be closing borders for now to stop the spread of coronavirus but we are committed to sharing ideas and collaborating on research.
Australia’s world-leading researchers are working tirelessly with international partners to strengthen testing, develop treatments and, critically, to find a vaccine.
The G20 will take all necessary health measures to contain the pandemic and protect the world’s citizens.
Crucially, we agreed to expand manufacturing capacity for medical supplies to ensure these are made widely available, at an affordable price, on an equitable basis, where they are most needed and as quickly as possible.
Collectively, G20 economies are injecting trillions into the global economy, as part of targeted fiscal policy and economic measures to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic.
Australia has already announced economic measures worth nearly 10 per cent of GDP. I urged the G20 to act with resolve and urgency.
Collective G20 action will amplify our efforts.
We have also agreed to resolve disruptions to supply chains, to secure the flow of vital medical supplies.
Supporting the Pacific and Timor-Leste
I explained to G20 leaders that our Pacific island family must be a focus of international support.
There has never been a more important time for Australia’s Pacific Step-up as we all face these massive challenges.
Since January, Australia has provided support for laboratories and public information campaigns, medical equipment, health expertise and for the WHO’s regional preparedness plan. We are reconfiguring our development assistance to ensure critical health services can continue to function and to help our Pacific neighbours and Timor-Leste to manage the immediate economic impacts of the pandemic.
As we fight this virus on our shores, in our region or around the world, the G20 has committed to working together to stop the spread and to save lives.