G20 Leaders Converge In Rome Amid Tight Security

Rome- The 16th G20 Summit, the first in-person gathering of leaders of the biggest economies since the onset of the pandemic early last year, will begin from Saturday in Italy's capital city amid tight security measures and with a packed agenda.

The summit will be preceded by a G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministers' meeting, which will also be hosted by Rome on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to Italy, holder of the G20 Presidency since December 1, 2020, the Summit's agenda will cover the most pressing global health and economic issues related to the coronavirus pandemic.

These would include the need for the most developed economies to boost their efforts to ensure the fair and equitable global distribution of Covis-19 vaccines, especially to low-income countries.

Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched an appeal for some $8 billion to speed up vaccination.

The plan unveiled by the World Health Organization (WHO) aims at immunizing 70 per cent of the planet's population by mid-2022.

The G20 leaders are also expected to discuss climate change, digital transformation and sustainable innovation, along with such issues as the situation in Afghanistan, on which Italy called an extraordinary G20 meeting earlier in October.

Since the G20 Summit is scheduled to take place just before the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland (October 31-November 12), the leaders in Rome are expected to discuss a common strategy in coping with climate change.

The G20 countries have yet to agree on whether they should commit to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by around mid-century and also on the timing of the related decarbonization process.

Security will be tight in and around Rome's La Nuvola Convention Centre in the EUR district, which will host the G20 Summit.

Rome's airspace has been closed from Thursday to November 1., although the city's Fiumicino and Ciampino airports will be allowed to operate.

The Italian capital's police ranks will be bolstered by 500 extra officers, and Carabinieri (military police) and special units will be deployed across the city to ensure security.

Set up in 1999, the G20 serves as a main forum for international cooperation on financial and economic issues.

It comprises 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, the US, plus the European Union.

Together, the G20 members represent almost two-thirds of the planet's population and accounted for some 80 per cent of global gross domestic product and over 75 per cent of global trade in 2020.

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