Leaders of the world’s most powerful nations wrapped upSunday, promised to avoid any effort to protect lives and ensure affordable access to for all people.
The two-day summit of heads of state was held practically because of, who at least killed , with the world’s highest death toll recorded in seven of the G20 countries. The virus has hundreds of millions of jobs globally and threw millions into extreme poverty.
The virus “revealed vulnerabilities in our preparedness and response and underscored our common challenges,”
The group promised “to avoid any effort to protect lives.”
The G20 – which includes the United States, India, China, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan and others – also stressed the importance of global access to COVID-19 vaccines, medicines and tests.
“We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people in accordance with members’ commitments to encourage innovation,” the statement said.
The G20 expressed support for efforts such as COVAX, an international initiative to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to countries around the world. However, the United States has refused to participate under President Trump.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters on Sunday in Berlin after the virtual summit that Germany had provided financial support for the COVAX initiative, but that more money was needed.
The G20 statement did not directly address an urgent appeal by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who said an additional $ 28 billion is needed for further investment in mass production, procurement and delivery of new COVID-19 vaccines around the world, including $ 4 billion immediately.
There is also concern that countries such as the UK, the US, France and Germany have negotiated directly with pharmaceutical companies, which means that the vast majority of the world’s vaccine supply next year is already reserved.
“Fortunately, there is now hope for vaccines,” Merkel said, adding that “it is important that not only Europe secures vaccines, as the European Union does now, but … that it is important for the whole world” to have access for vaccines.
She said it was important that COVAX start negotiating with the manufacturers of potential vaccines based on the money it already has, but that she was somewhat concerned that these negotiations had not yet taken place.