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India suggests three-point proposal for global movement of citizens amid pandemic

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New Delhi: The G20 Foreign Ministers held an extraordinary meeting to discuss enhancing international cooperation to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic as well as strengthening preparedness for future pandemics amid India’s three-point proposal for global movement of citizens.

The ministers and representatives of international organizations discussed the importance of coordinating precautionary measures on cross-border management to protect lives and livelihoods, according to a statement issued by G-20 Presidency Saudi Arabia.

The Ministers also exchanged national experiences and lessons learned from the cross-border management measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemics.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar commended Saudi Arabia for its proactive approach in bringing G20 countries together for dealing with this COVID-19 pandemic.

He highlighted the steps taken by India in the wake of the pandemic. He apprised the G20 Foreign Ministers about the steps taken by India including Vande Bharat Mission and creation of ‘travel bubbles’ for the welfare and protection of foreign citizens stranded here as well as its own citizens abroad.

The Indian Minister called on Governments around the world to ensure that interests of foreign students are protected and movement of stranded seafarers back to their home country is facilitated.

Jaishankar also proposed development of voluntary ‘G20 Principles on Coordinated Cross-Border Movement of People’ with three elements: a) Standardisation of testing procedures and universal acceptability of test results; b) Standardisation of ‘Quarantine procedures’; c) Standardisation of ‘movement and transit’ protocols.

During the meeting, 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 ministers expressed their deep condolences for the huge loss of human life and tragic impacts caused by COVID-19 and acknowledged the efforts and commitment of frontline workers to public health and safety.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan 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.”

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