President Sommaruga takes part in virtual G20 summit

Bern, 22.11.2020 - At the summit of G20 states this weekend, President Simonetta Sommaruga presented Switzerland's positions. Due to the pandemic, the meeting was held in the form of a video conference. Discussions focused on how to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and the prospects for sustainable economic recovery and development. Switzerland has been involved in all the work of the G20 major industrialised and emerging countries as a guest country this year.

On Saturday, 21 November, Ms Sommaruga set out Switzerland's views on the immediate priorities of the international community. "A strong and lasting recovery calls for actions that are also well-aligned with the objectives of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. Short-term actions must reinforce longer-term policies to build a more sustainable, inclusive and prosperous future", she explained.

On Sunday, 22 November, the emphasis was on building an inclusive, sustainable and stable long-term future. Ms Sommaruga stressed the growing risks posed by climate change. "2020 and 2021 are crucial years in our fight against climate change. G20 members are among the largest emitters while at the same time having the greatest capacity for making improvements. We urge all G20 members to aim for net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest."

Ms Sommaruga commended the fact that the heads of state and government were this year able to agree on a joint summit declaration: "This is a positive sign for multilateralism and helps to overcome the current crises. On the one hand, the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19, and on the other, the climate crisis and the crisis of the multilateral trading system. Those who invest in sustainability in trade and climate protection also help people and companies." Together with the other European states, Switzerland has made an ambitious contribution and advocated further efforts.

The G20 is an important driving force for the multilateral process in measures to stabilise the financial and economic system. This is reflected in the work of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) in dealing with the pandemic.Switzerland believes that international organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WHO) need to be strengthened in order to be able to address global challenges.

Switzerland as a guest country

At the invitation of the Saudi Arabian G20 presidency, Switzerland has participated for the first time this year as a guest country in all the work of the Group of Twenty major industrialised and emerging countries. It has taken an active part in the work and discussions and put forward its positions, shared its experiences and submitted concrete proposals. Up until the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swiss delegations attended the working and ministerial meetings in person and were able to make useful contacts and foster relations.

In mid-March, while continuing to follow its ordinary agenda, the G20 set itself an extraordinary agenda devoted to managing the crisis. Since then, all meetings have taken place online. In March, the president attended a special summit of the G20 countries on the pandemic.


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