Global leaders adopt agenda to overcome COVID-19 crisis and avoid future pandemics

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Leaders of the G20 committed today to a series of actions to accelerate the end of the COVID-19 crisis everywhere and better prepare for future pandemics, at a summit co-hosted by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, as G20 chair.

President Ursula von der Leyen said: “This very first G20 summit on health marks the beginning of a new chapter in global health policy. World leaders strongly committed to multilateralism and global cooperation in health. This means, no export bans, keeping global supply chains open and working to extend production capacity everywhere. If we live up to these principles, the world will be better prepared for pandemics.”

The G20 underlined the importance of increased and diversified manufacturing and recognised the role of intellectual property in ensuring equity, both through voluntary licensing and knowledge transfer, as well as in the context of the flexibilities provided by the TRIPS agreement. In that respect, the EU intends to facilitate the implementation of those flexibilities, in particular the use of compulsory licenses including for exports to all countries that lack manufacturing capacity.*

The EU will come forward with a proposal in the WTO focusing on:

  • clarifying and facilitating the use of compulsory licences in crisis times like this pandemic;
  • supporting the expansion of production;
  • trade facilitation and limiting export restrictions.

All G20 members also acknowledged the need to address the funding gap of the ACT-Accelerator, a global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, and launched by the WHO, the European Commission, France and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And agreed to extend its mandate to the end of 2022.

The leaders further agreed on the need for early warning information, surveillance and trigger systems, which will be interoperable. These will cover new viruses, but also variants. They will enable countries to detect much quicker and to act to nip in the bud outbreaks, before they become pandemics.

G20 clearly stressed the need to ensure equitable access to vaccines and to support low and middle-income countries.

Team Europe’ contribution

‘Team Europe’ presented to the summit concrete contributions to respond to this call, both to cover immediate needs and to build capacity in the medium term.

The European Commission has worked with industrial partners, which are manufacturing vaccines in Europe, to make available vaccine doses for low and middle-income countries, rapidly.

BioNTech/Pfizer (1 billion), Johnson & Johnson (200 million) and Moderna (around 100 million) pledged 1.3 billion doses of vaccines, to be delivered to low-income countries at no profit, and to middle-income countries at lower prices by the end of 2021, many of which will go via COVAX. They committed more than 1 billion doses for 2022.

Team Europe aims at donating 100 million doses of vaccines to low and middle-income countries until the end of the year, in particular through COVAX.

In addition to covering current vaccine needs, Team Europe will also invest to equip Africa to produce vaccines itself. Africa imports today 99% of its own vaccines. Team Europe has launched an initiative to boost manufacturing capacity in Africa and access to vaccines, medicines and health technologies. The initiative, backed by €1 billion funding from the EU budget and European development finance institutions such as the European Investment Bank, will cover investments in infrastructure and production capacity. But also in training and skills, supply chains management, regulatory framework.

Under the initiative, a number of regional production hubs will be developed, covering the whole African continent.

Background

The Global Health Summit, co-hosted on 21 May by the European Commission and Italy as chair of the G20, has brought together G20 leaders, heads of international and regional organisations, and representatives of global health bodies, to share lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and develop and endorse the ‘Rome Declaration’ of principles. 

The principles agreed should be a powerful guide for further multilateral cooperation and joint action to prevent future global health crises, and for a joint commitment to build a healthier, safer, fairer and more sustainable world.

The Summit builds on

  • The Coronavirus Global Response, a pledging marathon that last year raised close to €16 billion from donors worldwide for universal access to coronavirus treatments, tests and vaccines and support for global recovery.
  • The existing work of multilateral institutions and frameworks, notably the World Health Organization and the International Health Regulations.
  • Other health initiatives and processes, including those taking place in the G7 and G20.

The EU has been at the forefront of international efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis everywhere, helping to mobilise funding in support of the ACT-Accelerator through the Coronavirus Global Response and as a top contributor to the COVAX Facility, with over €2.47 billion.

COVAX is the global initiative leading efforts to ensure universal and fair access to COVID-19 vaccines and for the EU is the key channel to share vaccines.

The EU has invested €4 billion in COVID-19 research and production capacity to develop vaccines that are now being delivered to the EU and countries across the world. The EU has exported as many vaccines as it has received for its citizens, around 200 million.

Team Europe has mobilised over €40 billion to support partner countries worldwide tackle the health emergency, strengthen key sector such as health, water and sanitation and measures to mitigate the socioeconomic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

European Commission increases support for the EU’s beekeeping sector

More protection for our seas and oceans is needed, report finds

Which country offers the cheapest mobile data?

INTERVIEW: ‘Defend the people, not the States’, says outgoing UN human rights chief

10 ways central banks are experimenting with blockchain

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

DR Congo elections: ‘historic opportunity’ for ‘peaceful transfer of power’ says Security Council

What can be done to avoid the risk of being among the 7 million that will be killed by air pollution in 2020?

Is there a de facto impossibility for the Brexit to kick-start?

How trust and collaboration are key in India’s last mile response to the COVID-19 crisis

Investors must travel a winding road to net-zero. Here’s a map

Engaging women and girls in science ‘vital’ for Sustainable Development Goals

‘No steps taken’ so far to end Israel’s illegal settlement activity on Palestinian land – UN envoy

In visit to hurricane-ravaged Bahamas, UN chief calls for greater action to address climate change

Illegal fishing plagues the Pacific Ocean. Here’s how to end it

How AI and machine learning are helping to fight COVID-19

EU tells Britain stay in as long as you wish

Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash. Here’s why

Here are 4 tips for governing by design in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

How curiosity and globalization are driving a new approach to travel

Coronavirus (COVID-19): truth and myth on personal risk perception

The battle for the 2016 EU Budget to shake the Union; Commission and Parliament vs. Germany

Innovation can transform the way we solve the world’s water challenges

#WorldBicycleDay: 5 benefits of cycling

Missile strike kills at least 12 civilians, including children, in Syria’s Idlib: UN humanitarians

4 steps to developing responsible AI

Mental health and suicide prevention – What can be done to increase access to mental health services in my region?

UN chief outlines ‘intertwined challenges’ of climate change, ocean health facing Pacific nations on the ‘frontline’

New US President: MEPs hope for a new dawn in transatlantic ties

Desires for national independence in Europe bound by economic realities

European Union and African Union sign partnership to scale up preparedness for health emergencies

Yemen war: UN chief urges good faith as ‘milestone’ talks get underway in Sweden

Spring 2019 Standard Eurobarometer: Europeans upbeat about the state of the European Union – best results in 5 years

Coronavirus: Commission approves contract with CureVac to ensure access to a potential vaccine

Outbreak of COVID-19: The third wave and the people

A day in the life of a Venezuelan migrant in Boa Vista, Brazil

EU Copyright Directive: Google News threatens to leave Europe while media startups increasingly worry

3 ways to fight short-termism and relaunch Europe

Accountability in Sudan ‘crucial’ to avoid ‘further bloodshed’, says UN rights office

UN committed ‘to support the Libyan people’ as Guterres departs ‘with deep concern and a heavy heart’

Antarctica: the final coronavirus-free frontier. But will it stay that way?

Mario Draghi didn’t do it but Kim Jong-un did

UN chief welcomes G20 commitment to fight climate change

MEPs: Access to adequate housing should be a fundamental European right

More countries are making progress on corruption – but there’s much to be done, says a new report

Mountains matter, especially if you’re young, UN declares

EU food watchdog: more transparency, better risk prevention

Young activists share four ways to create a more inclusive world

The European Sting @ the European Business Summit 2014 – Where European Business and Politics shape the future

More than one million sexually transmitted infections occur every day: WHO

These countries spend the most on education

How a new approach to meat can help end hunger

MEPs cap prices of calls within EU and approve emergency alert system

Electronic cigarettes: is it really a safe alternative to smoking?

China confirms anti-state-subsidy investigation on EU wine imports

Century challenge: inclusion of immigrants in the health system

Here’s how we reboot digital trade for the 21st century

Britain and Germany change attitude towards the European Union

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

Ten new migratory species protected under global wildlife agreement

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s