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WORLD LEADERS; WHO & PARTNERS FORGE ALLIANCE AGAINST CORONAVIRUS: Pledge to accelerate global plans to contain deadly virus

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  • Our Call: We ask the global community and political leaders to support this landmark collaboration, and for donors to provide the necessary resources to accelerate achievement of the objectives of this global collaboration, capitalizing on the opportunity provided by the rolling pledging campaign that will start on 4 May 2020.
  • Sir Andrew Witty and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala named WHO Special Envoys for the ACT Accelerator.
  • WHO has prequalified diagnostics that are being used all over the world, and more are in the pipeline. And it is coordinating a global trial to assess the safety and efficacy of four therapeutics against COVID-19
  • 4 million infected; over 160,000 dead.
  • UN Secretary-General & African Union in attendance

GENEVA – Unprecedented gathering of heads of government, institutions and industry have committed to unity to combat COVID-19. The Heads of State and other dignitaries who met in Geneva, Switzerland today pledged to accelerate development and delivery of vaccines for all populations, production of new vaccines, tests and treatments for COVID-19 and assure equitable access worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has already affected more than 2.4 million people, killing over 160,000. It is taking a huge toll on families, societies, health systems and economies around the world, and for as long as this virus threatens any country, the entire world is at risk.

A Statement from the headquarters of the World Health Organisation says the virtual event was attended by: ‘’Heads of state and global health leaders today made an unprecedented commitment to work together to accelerate the development and production of new vaccines, tests and treatments for COVID-19 and assure equitable access worldwide. Global leaders unite to ensure everyone everywhere can access new vaccines, tests and treatments for COVID-19

The historic event was co-hosted by the World Health Organization, the President of France, the President of the European Commission, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The event was joined by the UN Secretary-General, the AU Commission Chairperson, the G20 President, heads of state of France, South Africa, Germany, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Italy, Rwanda, Norway, Spain, Malaysia and the UK (represented by the First Secretary of State). Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Gavi Board Chair and Sir Andrew Witty, former CEO of GlaxoSmithKline also joined the event.

Also in attendance were health leaders from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI-the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund, UNITAID, the Wellcome Trust, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (IFRC), the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (IFPMA), the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers’ Network (DCVMN), and the International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (IGBA) committed to come together, guided by a common vision of a planet protected from human suffering and the devastating social and economic consequences of COVID-19, to launch this groundbreaking collaboration. They are joined by two Special Envoys:

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General disclosed that: .’’They pledged to work towards equitable global access based on an unprecedented level of partnership. They agreed to create a strong unified voice, to build on past experience and to be accountable to the world, to communities and to one another. “Our shared commitment is to ensure all people have access to all the tools to prevent, detect, treat and defeat COVID-19,” said Dr Tedros. “No country and no organization can do this alone. The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator brings together the combined power of several organizations to work with speed and scale.”

‘’There is an urgent need, therefore, while following existing measures to keep people physically distanced and to test and track all contacts of people who test positive, for innovative COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and treatments. “We will only halt COVID-19 through solidarity,” said. “Countries, health partners, manufacturers, and the private sector must act together and ensure that the fruits of science and research can benefit everybody.”

WORK ALREADY COMMENCED: Work has already started. Since January, WHO has been working with researchers from hundreds of institutions to develop and test vaccines, standardize assays and standardize regulatory approaches on innovative trial designs and define criteria to prioritize vaccine candidates.  The Organization has prequalified diagnostics that are being used all over the world, and more are in the pipeline. And it is coordinating a global trial to assess the safety and efficacy of four therapeutics against COVID-19.  He said: ‘’The challenge is to speed up and harmonize processes to ensure that once products are deemed safe and effective, they can be brought to the billions of people in the world who need them. Past experience, in the early days of HIV treatment, for example, and in the deployment of vaccines against the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, shows that even when tools are available, they have not been equally available to all

Health leaders called on the global community and political leaders to support this landmark collaboration and for donors to provide the necessary resources to accelerate achievement of its objectives, capitalizing on the opportunity provided by a forthcoming pledging initiative that starts on 4 May 2020. This initiative, spearheaded by the European Union, aims to mobilize the significant resources needed to accelerate the work towards protecting the world from COVID-19.

COMMITMENT AND CALL TO ACTION

  • Our Call:  We ask the global community and political leaders to support this landmark collaboration, and for donors to provide the necessary resources to accelerate achievement of the objectives of this global collaboration, capitalizing on the opportunity provided by the rolling pledging campaign that will start on 4 May 2020.
  • Our Mission is not only accelerated development and availability of new COVID-19 tools – it is to accelerate equitable global access to safe, quality, effective, and affordable COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, and thus to ensure that in the fight against COVID-19, no one is left behind.
  • Our Commitment
  • We commit to the shared aim of equitable global access to innovative tools for COVID-19 for all.
  • We commit to an unprecedented level of partnership – proactively engaging stakeholders, aligning and coordinating efforts, building on existing collaborations, collectively devising solutions, and grounding our partnership in transparency, and science.
  • We commit to create a strong unified voice to maximize impact, recognizing this is not about singular decision-making authority, but rather collective problem-solving, interconnectedness and inclusivity, where all stakeholders can connect and benefit from the expertise, knowledge and activities of this shared action-oriented platform.
  • We commit to build on past experiences towards achieving this objective, including ensuring that every activity we undertake is executed through the lens of equitable global access, and that the voices of the communities most affected are heard. 5. We commit to be accountable to the world, to communities, and to one another. We are coming together in the spirit of solidarity, and in the service of humanity, to achieve our mission and vision.

Our Vision and Mission Grounded in a vision of a planet protected from human suffering and the devastating social and economic consequences of COVID-19, we, an initial group of global health actors (BMGF, CEPI, Gavi, Global Fund, UNITAID, Wellcome Trust, WHO) and private sector partners and other stakeholders, are launching a landmark, global and time-limited collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable global access to new COVID-19 essential health technologies. We know that as long as anyone is at risk from this virus, the entire world is at risk – every single person on the planet needs to be protected from this disease. We agree that alongside evidence-based public health measures, innovative COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines are needed – in record time and at record scale and access – to save millions of lives and countless trillions of dollars, and to return the world to a sense of ‘normalcy’. We recognize the significant amount of critical work, investment and initiatives already ongoing around the world to expedite the development and deployment of innovative COVID-19 related products and interventions. We appreciate that while development and deployment of innovative products is essential, it will not be enough. We must simultaneously and urgently accelerate the strengthening of sustainable health systems and capacities to enable delivery of the new COVID-19 tools to those who need them and to mitigate the knock-on impact on other diseases. We remember lessons from the past, which have shown that even when effective tools are available to the world, too often some are protected, while others are not. This inequity is unacceptable – all tools to address COVID-19 must be available to all. In the fight against COVID-19, no one should be left behind. We understand we cannot do this alone, and that we need to work together in unprecedented and inclusive partnership with all stakeholders – political leaders, public and private sector partners, civil society, academia, and all other stakeholders across society – jointly leveraging our comparative strengths and respective voices to drive towards collective solutions, an accelerated path, and access for all. We are stronger, faster and more effective working together.

Commitment and call to action: Global collaboration to accelerate new COVID-19 health technologies

A Global Collaboration to Accelerate the Development, Production and Equitable Access to New COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines

Our Vision and Mission

Grounded in a vision of a planet protected from human suffering and the devastating social and economic consequences of COVID-19, we, an initial group of global health actors (BMGF, CEPI, Gavi, Global Fund, UNITAID, Wellcome Trust, WHO) and private sector partners and other stakeholders, are launching a landmark, global and time-limited collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable global access to new COVID-19 essential health technologies.

  • We know that as long as anyone is at risk from this virus, the entire world is at risk – every single person on the planet needs to be protected from this disease.
  • We agree that alongside evidence-based public health measures, innovative COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines are needed – in record time and at record scale and access – to save millions of lives and countless trillions of dollars, and to return the world to a sense of ‘normalcy’.
  • We recognize the significant amount of critical work, investment and initiatives already ongoing around the world to expedite the development and deployment of innovative COVID-19 related products and interventions.
  • We appreciate that while development and deployment of innovative products is essential, it will not be enough. We must simultaneously and urgently accelerate the strengthening of sustainable health systems and capacities to enable delivery of the new COVID-19 tools to those who need them and to mitigate the knock-on impact on other diseases.
  • We remember lessons from the past, which have shown that even when effective tools are available to the world, too often some are protected, while others are not. This inequity is unacceptable – all tools to address COVID-19 must be available to all. In the fight against COVID-19, no one should be left behind.
  • We understand we cannot do this alone, and that we need to work together in unprecedented and inclusive partnership with all stakeholders – political leaders, public and private sector partners, civil society, academia, and all other stakeholders across society – jointly leveraging our comparative strengths and respective voices to drive towards collective solutions, an accelerated path, and access for all. We are stronger, faster and more effective working together.
  • Our Mission is not only accelerated development and availability of new COVID-19 tools – it is to accelerate equitable global access to safe, quality, effective, and affordable COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, and thus to ensure that in the fight against COVID-19, no one is left behind.

Our Commitment

  • We commit to the shared aim of equitable global access to innovative tools for COVID-19 for all.
  • We commit to an unprecedented level of partnership – proactively engaging stakeholders, aligning and coordinating efforts, building on existing collaborations, collectively devising solutions, and grounding our partnership in transparency, and science.
  • We commit to create a strong unified voice to maximize impact, recognizing this is not about singular decision-making authority, but rather collective problem-solving, interconnectedness and inclusivity, where all stakeholders can connect and benefit from the expertise, knowledge and activities of this shared action-oriented platform.
  • We commit to build on past experiences towards achieving this objective, including ensuring that every activity we undertake is executed through the lens of equitable global access, and that the voices of the communities most affected are heard.
  • We commit to be accountable to the world, to communities, and to one another. We are coming together in the spirit of solidarity, and in the service of humanity, to achieve our mission and vision.

Our Call: We ask the global community and political leaders to support this landmark collaboration, and for donors to provide the necessary resources to accelerate achievement of the objectives of this global collaboration, capitalizing on the opportunity provided by the rolling pledging campaign that will start on 4 May 2020.

WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the launch of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator — 24 April 2020

Your Excellencies, Good morning, good afternoon and good evening.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis that has been met with an unprecedented global response. Research and development have played a central role. Since January, WHO has been working with thousands of researchers all over the world to accelerate and track vaccine development – from developing animal models to clinical trial designs, and everything in between.

We’ve also developed diagnostics that are being used all over the world; And we’re coordinating a global trial on the safety and efficacy of four therapeutics against COVID-19. The world needs these tools, and it needs them fast. Past experience has taught us that even when tools are available, they have been not been equally available to all.

We cannot allow that to happen_ Today, WHO is proud to be uniting with many partners to launch the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, or the ACT Accelerator.

This is a landmark collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics for COVID-19. Our shared commitment is to ensure all people have access to all the tools to defeat COVID-19. The ACT Accelerator brings together the combined power of several organizations to work with speed and scale.

Each of us are doing great work, but we cannot work alone. We’re coming together to work in new ways to identify challenges and solutions together. I am especially grateful to President Emmanuel Macron, President Ursula von der Leyen and Bill and Melinda Gates for their leadership and partnership in co-hosting this ACT Accelerator launch. We’re also grateful for the support of many world leaders, who you will hear from today.

And I would especially like to thank Sir Andrew Witty and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for agreeing to act as Special Envoys for the ACT Accelerator. We are facing a common threat, which we can only defeat with a common approach. I would now like to invite the other co-hosts to speak, beginning with His Excellency, President Emmanuel Macron.

Monsieur le Président, you have the floor.