G20 Foreign Ministry held on 4th September discussions centered on strengthening international cooperation across borders.
The G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting was convened by the current G20 Chair, Saudi Arabia. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud chaired the meeting. During the meeting, the foreign ministers acknowledged the importance of opening borders, uniting families, and promoting measures to allow the economy to thrive in light of the protective measures given by health organizations and national regulation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Saudi foreign minister stated that “Reopening borders, in accordance with all the protective measures and national regulations, will help our economies to thrive, people to prosper, and will of course bring hope for humanity to have faith in cooperating to overcome the pandemic.”
It’s been months, and the world is still grappling with the Corona Pandemic. Many health safety protocols, brought in to minimize the risk of spread of the COVID, like closed borders have now become a huge obstacle in running trade and businesses worldwide resulting in a crisis of life and livelihood for many.
As the education institutes around globally have been shut for months studies have also taken a huge toll. With borders closed now, foreign students who had returned to their home countries during the initial weeks of the global pandemic are now finding it difficult to rejoin their respective institutions. Similar is the story of seafarers who have been stuck at sea for months and facing difficulties to go back to their families. EAM called on Governments around the world to ensure that the interests of foreign students are protected and the movement of stranded seafarers back to their home country is facilitated.
At the meeting, EAM Jaishankar also exchanged national experiences and lessons learned from the cross-border management measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemics. He apprised the G20 Foreign Ministers about the steps taken by India including the Vande Bharat Mission and the creation of ‘travel bubbles’ for the welfare and protection of foreign citizens stranded here as well as its own citizens abroad.