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Therapeutics, vaccines should be 'global good for all': Vivian Balakrishnan to G20 foreign ministers

Therapeutics, vaccines should be 'global good for all': Vivian Balakrishnan to G20 foreign ministers

Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan speaking at Singapore Management University on Jan 22, 2020.

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.

Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan attends a virtual extraordinary G20 foreign ministers' meeting on Sep 3, 2020. (Photo: Facebook/Vivian Balakrishnan)

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.

READ: COVID-19 has emphasised need to secure flow of essential economic resources: Teo Chee Hean

READ: Maintaining and strengthening relations with immediate neighbours 'more critical than ever': Vivian Balakrishnan

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.

READ: Singapore, South Korea to launch fast lane arrangement for essential business, official travel

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Source: CNA/jt(ta)


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