Therapeutics, vaccines should be 'global good for all': Vivian Balakrishnan to G20 foreign ministers
SINGAPORE: Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Thursday (Sep 3) told his G20 counterparts that therapeutics and vaccines should be "a global good for all", said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a media release.
Dr Balakrishnan was speaking at a virtual extraordinary G20 foreign ministers' meeting, which he attended in Singapore's capacity as convenor of the Global Governance Group (3G) and at the invitation of his Saudi Arabian counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.
Dr Balakrishnan stressed the need to keep global supply chains open, especially for essential goods such as medical supplies, said MFA.
"He also emphasised the importance of accelerating the ongoing digital transformation of societies, as the past nine months have underlined how critical this is. He underlined that the digital gap needs to be bridged so that no one is left behind," the ministry added.
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The foreign ministers in attendance exchanged views on their countries' experiences and lessons learned in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
"They emphasised the need to strengthen international cooperation across borders to mitigate the impact of the measures taken. The meeting also addressed the need to prepare for a gradual and safe reopening of borders and work towards a recovery which is more resilient to future shocks," said MFA.
Dr Balakrishnan also said that Singapore will work with G20 and the relevant organisations to "explore the gradual resumption of safe cross-border travel through comprehensive testing and rigorous contract tracing", added the ministry.