Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says the world’s richest countries must cooperate to overcome the unprecedented shock of the COVID 19 pandemic.
He was speaking at the opening of the G20 summit in Riyhad which is being hosted for the first time by the kingdom.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is participating in the summit which is being held virtually became of the coronavirus lockdown.
Bin Salman said at the opening that it is vital for the COVID 19 vaccine, weeks away from being injected into the arms of caregivers and potential victims, be distributed to every nation.
Secretary General of Norway’s Refugee Council Jan Egeland says the G20 can only recover from the pandemic if the countries make exponential payments to the world’s poorest countries to overcome the effects of it.
Holding the summit virtually has robbed Soudi Arabia of an opportunity to showcase its economic advances.
However, the spotlight has turned brightly on human rights violations in the kingdom.
Amnesty International urges the G20 “not to buy the Saudi spin because the real change makers in the kingdom are in jail.”
Human Rights Watch says the summit “helps Saudi Arabia deflect from its image as a pervasive human rights violator.”
The family of the most outspoken dissident is urging G20 leader to press the Saudi authorities to release 31-year-old women’s rights defender Loujain al Hathloul.
She’s been in jail since May 2018 and is understood to be on hunger strike.
Her family say she has been tortured and suffered sexual abuse in jail.
Saudi foreign minister Adel Jubeir says Hathloul is being held for national security reasons not because of her women’s right activism.