1                      The Global Governance Group (3G)[1] held its 13th Ministerial Meeting via video conference on 23 September 2020 on the sidelines of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). At the 3G’s invitation, the G20 Troika (previous, present and incoming Presidencies) – Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Italy – joined the 3G Foreign Ministers to discuss key challenges facing the international community amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and the efforts by the G20 and the UN to address these pertinent issues. The annual meeting with the G20 stakeholders is part of the 3G’s efforts to promote a more inclusive, accountable, and effective global governance framework.

 

 

2                      Saudi Arabia, in its capacity as the current G20 President, briefed the 3G Ministers on the key priorities and proposed deliverables for the G20 Leaders’ Summit that is scheduled to be held from 21 to 22 November 2020. The 3G Ministers commended the strong leadership of Saudi Arabia in galvanising international effort to address the tremendous challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This included the convening of the virtual Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit on COVID-19 on 26 March 2020, the Extraordinary G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on 3 September 2020, the timely launch and advancement of the G20 Action Plan to coordinate the global economic and public health response to the pandemic, as well as the good progress in the various G20 tracks and working groups. The 3G Ministers welcomed, inter alia, the G20’s promotion of digital means to cope with the disruptions brought about by the pandemic, and emphasised the need to utilise this momentum to accelerate technological development and digitalisation in order to ensure that the international community will be more resilient to future shocks. They also reiterated their support for an environmentally sustainable and inclusive recovery, in line with the Paris Agreement, as a crucial element of future resilience. The 3G Ministers stressed the need to facilitate technology transfer and narrow the digital divide within countries to fully utilise the shift to a digital economy. They emphasised the importance of maintaining functioning, open and connected global supply chains and noted that the G20 is committed to the same, especially the continued flow of vital medical supplies and other essential goods and services.

 

 

3                      The 3G Ministers underlined the importance and central role of the UN, with its universal membership, in global standard setting and coordinating a global response to the COVID-19 pandemic which fully respects human rights and contributes to sustainable development.

 

 

4                      The 3G Ministers strongly welcomed the G20’s continued efforts in advancing the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including climate action, with a focus on supporting developing countries in their implementation efforts. The 3G Ministers look forward to receiving the Riyadh Update, which will provide details on the G20’s collective and concrete actions to ensure that “no one is left behind”.

 

 

5                      The 3G Ministers reiterated their concerns over intensified protectionist tendencies and continued trade conflicts, which will exacerbate the difficult economic environment arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and hinder a speedy and strong recovery. They emphasised the continued importance of promoting a universal, rules-based, open, transparent, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which has underpinned global economic growth and development. In the context of the current crisis, the 3G Ministers stressed the need to maintain the cross-border flow of vital medical supplies, agricultural and food products, and minimise disruptions to cross-border trade. They emphasised that trade-restrictive emergency measures aimed at protecting health, if deemed necessary, shall be targeted, proportionate, transparent, temporary, and be consistent with WTO rules. In this regard, they appreciated the short- and long-term actions endorsed by the G20, which include trade regulation, trade facilitation, transparency, the operation of logistics networks, and the provision of support for micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as building resilience in global supply chains, strengthening international investment, supporting the operations of international economic and financial organisations, increasing access to concessional finance and providing liquidity and other support measures necessary, to attain an inclusive and sustainable recovery from the deep global recession.

 

 

6                      The 3G Ministers reiterated their support for intensified global action, cooperation, and solidarity that puts people at the core of the COVID-19 response. They further emphasised the key leadership role of the World Health Organization in directing and coordinating strengthened, transparent and evidence-based multilateral cooperation to ensure that extensive immunisation against COVID-19 remain a global public good for health in preventing, containing, and stopping transmission in order to bring the pandemic to an end, and for partnerships to be forged among countries for an affordable and accessible vaccine for all.

 

 

7                      The 3G Ministers welcomed the G20’s continued efforts to reach out to non-G20 members to reflect a broad and inclusive range of international interests and perspectives. These included briefings by Saudi Arabia on its G20 Presidency on the sidelines of UN meetings in New York, in particular, the fruitful engagement with Saudi Arabia at the 12th 3G Ministerial Meeting in New York on 25 September 2019.

 

 

8                      As Saudi Arabia advances the important agenda under its G20 Presidency this year, the 3G Ministers looked forward to continuing their constructive partnership with the G20 under Italy’s Presidency in 2021. They encouraged Italy to continue the G20’s strong commitment to engage the 3G, as well as other regional and international organisations, in particular, the UN. The 3G Ministers reiterated the importance of inclusiveness, coherence, and complementarity in the work of various multilateral fora when seeking to set global standards.

 

23 September 2020

 

 

[1]                                            The 3G comprises the following Member States of the United Nations (UN): Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Costa Rica, Finland, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, San Marino, Senegal, Singapore, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Viet Nam.

 

 

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Singapore

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