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G20 in 2021

On October 31st, 2021, the G20 organization(made up of the world’s top 20 economies) met at the Rome Convention Centre in Rome, Italy. Last year, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the G20 2020 meeting was canceled and held virtually by Saudi Arabia. This was Italy’s first time hosting the G20 meeting, and focused on three main topics: People, Planet, Prosperity. Climate talks between the 20 countries were very much discussed, although a strong agreement between the countries was not established. A goal of “limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels” was set in place, but action toward these goals is needed, said Mario Draghi, Italy’s Prime Minister. President Biden stated, “The disappointment relates to the fact that Russia and … China basically didn’t show up in terms of any commitments to deal with climate change,". The lack of concrete action in executing this plan was a major reason for outrage that climate activists, as only plans were set forth. The UN COP26 Climate Summit in Scotland is expected to have more talks about this issue, and is also expected for more countries to take initiative in action against climate change issues. With the current Pandemic still on the rise, the discussion of vaccines was also a heavy topic discussed. With richer countries seemingly hoarding vaccines, poorer countries seem to have more people suffer from COVID day-by-day. Agnès Callamard, a French human rights activist, remarked, “While G20 countries enjoy vaccination rates of around 63%, only 10% of the population in low and lower-middle income countries have been able to get vaccinated. What have these leaders been doing for the past year but hoarding and actively contributing to vaccine scarcity along with Big Pharma? The millions of deaths show a staggering disregard for human life, a disturbing moral acceptance that profit trumps lives, and a blatant neglect of their global obligations.” Activists like Callamard have urged countries to push forward in distributing vaccines to less well-off countries. In the hopes of repairing the global economy, high expectations for change were made of these talks by the G20. A goal of the G20 was to increase technological access to all people on Earth as our world shows no sign of slowing down development of new technology. Talks of widespread internet access and digital literacy were two prominent topics discussed. Quoted by the G20’s agenda, “ It [Digital revolution] also means exploiting the full potential of the technological revolution to concretely improve the living conditions of citizens all over the world, in every aspect of their lives.”

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