Time.news – “Covid-19 vaccines are the product of complex supply chains, which extend into many countries, each of which is based on its own industrial capacity and expertise. The Rome Declaration rightly defends the role of the multilateral trading system and in particular the central role of the World Trade Organization. We need to preserve cross-border trade and eliminate unjustified trade barriers and general export bans. This is essential if we are to react effectively to shocks. ” This was stated by the Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, concluding the work of the Global Health summit. Italy has the rotating presidency of the G20.
For Draghi, “the Global Health Summit is a timely reminder of the power of multilateral cooperation. The pandemic has shown that we must overcome borders if we are to face the challenges of our times.
Among these there is not only the pandemic, but also global inequalities and climate change. Contributions to today’s debate will serve as a solid foundation for strengthening our response to the current health emergency and future crises. This is the spirit of the Rome Declaration, a set of principles that will ensure that we are better prepared for a possible future pandemic. Allow me now to deepen some of these points: it is essential to strengthen the role of multilateral institutions, in the field of global health and beyond.
“The World Health Organization was established in 1948 to play a coordinating role in epidemic control and drug standardization. Its role is equally important in today’s world. We must provide WHO with sustainable and predictable funding and enable to it to become more effective.
As we have learned during this crisis, strong international leadership is essential to ensure that an effective early warning system is in place and that governments can quickly share their best practices to prevent, contain and manage a pandemic. “
“Vaccinate the world and do it fast”
“As we prepare for the next pandemic, our priority must be to ensure that we all overcome the current one together. We have to vaccinate the world and do it quickly. “This was stated by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, opening the proceedings of the Global Health Summit at Villa Pamphili.
The premier underlines that the Global Health summit is “a special event of the Italian presidency of the G20 held in collaboration with the European Commission. I would like to thank President Ursula von der Leyen for having co-hosted this event”.
“The Covid-19 pandemic – says Draghi – has demonstrated the importance of international cooperation to address the current and future health crises. We must look across different countries and disciplines if we want to understand what went wrong during this pandemic and what we can do better. in the future. The reports of scientific experts, including Brusaferro and Piot, have provided essential guidance for our deliberations and, in particular, for the Rome Declaration that we will present today “.
“I would also like to thank – continues Draghi – over 100 non-governmental and civil society organizations. In particular, many thanks to Global Citizen for organizing Vax Live: the concert that brought the world together. The event reached millions of people and raised awareness on the main theme and objectives of the Global Health Summit. It guaranteed 26 million doses of the vaccine by governments, philanthropists and the private sector to donate to low- and middle-income countries, plus an additional $ 302 million for instruments doctors “.
“Normality approaches for the first time”
“For the first time, normality is approaching,” says Draghi. He continues: “The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated our societies. More than 3.4 million people have died from the virus according to official data, but the death toll is certainly much higher. Last year, the equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs were lost globally, roughly four times those lost during the financial crisis. At least 1.5 billion students had not attended school in March last year.
Some 700 million students still do not receive face-to-face education today. The global crisis is not over. We must act quickly, otherwise these human, economic and social costs are likely to rise significantly further. In Europe we have responded in an energetic and coordinated way. Our doctors and nurses have cared for thousands of patients, often in overcrowded hospitals. “
“My gratitude goes to them for their selfless service, which cost many of them their lives. Our governments and central banks have initiated several rounds of fiscal and monetary stimulus, which have helped save jobs. and prevent unwanted failures. Our scientists have developed a series of effective vaccines, with unprecedented speed. We are administering them quickly, starting with the elderly and the most frail, and guaranteeing them free of charge to all. After a year and a half, we are starting to see the end of this tragedy “.
“Italy is a guide for the global response”
“Italy has promoted a four-point strategy to help the most fragile countries in the world. Allocate special drawing rights, to support the balance of payments of countries in need. Quickly replenish the International Development Association. Encourage multilateral development banks to enhance their net financing activities. And temporarily suspend debt repayment payments to protect countries in need. “
“Italy was one of the countries hit first and hardest by the pandemic. We have learned our lessons and we want to put them to good use. As the G20 presidency, we want to lead the global drive to design better global responses to health crises. current and future “.
“Patent suspension does not solve”
“We need to lift general export bans, especially in poorer countries. Unfortunately, many countries cannot afford to pay for these vaccines. We also need to help low-income countries, including Africa, produce their own vaccines.
We will probably need more vaccination courses in the future, and increasing production is essential. One proposal is to introduce a patent suspension on Covid-19 vaccines. Italy is open to this idea, in a targeted way, limited in time and which does not jeopardize the incentive to innovate for pharmaceutical companies. But this proposal does not guarantee that low-income countries will actually be able to produce their own vaccines.
We must support them financially and with specialized skills “.
Von der Leyen’s priorities
The President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, remarks: “Today we focus on three objectives, to control the pandemic everywhere. To ensure that vaccines reach everyone, not by sharing and exporting but also by increasing production capacity in many regions. The third objective is to better prepare ourselves for pandemics “.