Turkish President Erdogan tells powerful G20 leaders that developed countries didn't give a "good test of solidarity" in pandemic, adding countries with weaker economies should not be left to their fate.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for "access of the coronavirus vaccine by everyone" and told a G20 summit the pandemic has increased the organisation's "responsibility and importance."
Erdogan was addressing the G20 Leaders' Summit with an introductory video message from his Vahdettin Pavilion in Istanbul on Saturday.
Erdogan said that the world, especially developed countries, "didn't give a good test of solidarity" in the coronavirus pandemic.
Erdogan said dealing with the pandemic is impossible without cooperation, adding that countries with weaker economies should not be left to their fate.
"The vaccines that are being developed should be used for the common good of humanity instead of further exacerbating the existing injustices," he said.
"The G20 platform should prepare and operate the mechanisms that will assure the cost-effective and fair access to the vaccine by everyone."
Saudi Arabia is hosting the virtual meeting of G20 leaders on Saturday and Sunday in line with coronavirus restrictions.
Erdogan calls for curbing pandemic fallout
Decisions taken at this year’s G20 summit will prove decisive in global efforts to curb the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and in meeting the world's expectations from the bloc, Erdogan added.
"The decisions to be taken at the Riyadh summit will be determining in not only alleviating the negative impacts of the pandemic but also in meeting the expectations from the G20," Erdogan said in a video message.
Erdogan said: "The pandemic has also reminded us all once again that we are members of the great family of mankind regardless of religion, language, region, and race."
Highlighting Turkey's efforts, Erdogan said Ankara provided aid to 156 countries and nine international organisations amid the pandemic.
He also thanked Saudi King Salman and authorities in the country for their "successful term presidency despite challenging conditions of the pandemic."
Saudi King Salman opened the G20 summit in a first for an Arab nation, with the virtual forum dominated by efforts to tackle the coronavirus crisis and the worst global recession in decades.
G20 leaders, including US President Donald Trump who is refusing to concede a bitter election, popped up in multiple windows across a flickering screen, in a high-stakes webinar held amid the raging pandemic.
The leaders are huddling online for the two-day "gathering" as international efforts intensify for a large-scale rollout of coronavirus vaccines after a breakthrough in trials, and as calls grow for G20 nations to plug a $4.5-billion funding shortfall.
The G20 consists of Germany, the US, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia, France, South Africa, South Korea, India, the UK, Italy, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the European Union.