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G20 health ministers gather in Rome amid pressure against mandatory health certificates

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By Alessio Dellanna with ANSA, AFP
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US health secretary Secretary Xavier Becerra shakes hands with his Italian counterpart Roberto Speranza in Rome on 5 September 2021
US health secretary Secretary Xavier Becerra shakes hands with his Italian counterpart Roberto Speranza in Rome on 5 September 2021   -   Copyright  Roberto Monaldo/LaPresse
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G20 health ministers arrived in Rome on Sunday for talks on the COVID-19 pandemic and the global health situation.

Italy's health minister, Roberto Speranza, said the event was an occasion to strengthen international relations and work for fairer COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

The meetings, ending on Monday, are centred around three main pillars: ensuring sustainable development in a post-pandemic world, preventing future pandemics and enhancing the tools to fight them.

The talks take place against the backdrop of a heated debate on mandatory COVID passes.

Italy is considering extending its green pass to all employees in the public sector - but part of the governing coalition is against it.

The issue is also causing divisions in France where around 140,000 people rallied in various cities on Saturday against the health certification.