International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the institutional representative of over 45 million businesses, and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the global voice of the world’s working people addressed the open letter to G20 Heads of State and Government demanding for coordinated global actions from G20 leaders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the effective response of the G20 to the global health and financial crisis, ICC and ITUC respectfully call on world leaders to pledge to do whatever is necessary to keep the world economy out of recession and to commit to immediate action to:
- Avoid export bans or limits on the free flow of all necessary medical supplies, medicines, disinfectant, soap and personal protective equipment. By doing that they will get infection control and medical products into the hands of those who need them the most.
- Allow and encourage the private sector to support government services in mass testing for the disease for both diagnostics and surveillance. ICC and ITUC call on G20 countries to work collaboratively across public and relevant private providers to improve testing for COVID-19 on a non-discriminatory and accessible basis.
- Significantly increase international financial assistance in order to help the world’s poorest countries deal with the likely effects of COVID-19—both by increasing aid funding for public health programmes, broader income and social protection measures as central to economic interventions.
- Commit to urgent stimulus and safeguard measures to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and the income of affected workers (including those in the informal sector) and avoid rampant unemployment. The hardest hit by the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic will take millions of MSMEs who account 80% of employment in many countries. ICC and ITUC call for joint agreement and actions when it comes to urgent scaling up of social protection for displaced workers and those in quarantine.
As the world’s largest business institution, ICC commits to assist G20 leaders in any way possible in developing a coordinated action plan to address the current and upcoming effects of COVID-19 pandemic.