ICC on CNN: G20 must show leadership on virus that knows no borders

  • 25 March 2020

ICC Secretary General John W.H Denton AO appeared on news network CNN Tuesday, calling for G20 solidarity on COVID-19 in the face of a virus that knows no borders.

Speaking to CNN’s Quest Means Business host Richard Quest, Mr Denton said the G20 must understand that the COVID-19 pandemic was about global solidarity and not about individual countries.

“There is a huge gap in global governance over how we grapple with the consequences of COVID-19 at the human, economic and societal level,” he said.

Mr Denton’s appearance on CNN took place ahead of this week’s G20 Summit. During the interview, Mr Denton appealed for similar levels of G20 leadership and coordination manifested during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.

Calling for the G20 to come together at the summit and agree on a meaningful statement from their virtual summit Mr Denton said:

“You can reach an agreement at global level about the need for governments to show confidence and stability by acting on a coordinated basis, and we know a coordinated basis is the only way to grapple with COVID-19.”

Ahead of the G20 Summit, ICC, as the institutional representative of over 45 million business in over 100 countries, has been calling for immediate G20 coordination to ensure infection control and medical products get to those who need them most; to ensure equitable access and affordability of essential medical supplies and health services; and to scale financial assistance to ensure the world’s poorest countries are not left behind.

“The G20 needs to…throw out the old rule book and look very carefully at how they can ensure that the global trading world continues to survive, how they can actually ensure that the global economy continues to move along. There needs to be a very significant stimulus.”

Mr Denton concluded by saying that G20 support and intervention was also needed to ensure developing economies are not left behind. Earlier this week, ICC joined forces with the Business 20 and World Health Organization to issue a joint open letter calling on G20 leaders to significantly scale financial assistance to help the world’s poorest countries deal with the likely effects of COVID-19 — both by increasing aid funding for public health programmes and broader social and economic interventions.

Read more on ICC’s response to COVID-19.