Various leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies have said they will ensure affordable and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and tests around the world so that the poorest countries are not left out, a statement said summit final which, details.
As the coronavirus pandemic rages on – having so far infected 58 million people worldwide and killed 1.3 million – the club of the world’s richest nations have taken a unified stance on the challenges ahead during the virtual rally organized by Saudi Arabia.
In Sunday’s statement, G20 countries said they were supporting a global vaccine, testing and therapeutics project – called the COVID-19 Tool Access Accelerator (ACT) – and its COVAX facility for distribution. vaccines.
“We have mobilized resources to meet immediate funding needs in the area of global health to support the research, development, manufacture and distribution of safe and effective Covid-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines,” said the communicated.
“We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access to all.”
But after a weekend of “digital diplomacy,” their closing statement lacked details on many of the issues that dominated the meeting.
“Some of these commitments were made earlier in the year, they are not new,” said James Bays, diplomatic editor of Al Jazeera.
“There were very specific requests from the aid sector, charities, international aid groups and the UN itself,” he added.
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres had said an additional $28 billion (£21 billion) was needed to develop vaccines, diagnostics and therapies, including $4.2 billion before the end of this year , but the final communiqué made no mention of these amounts.
As richer countries plan their immunization programs – with the United States planning to launch it in mid-December – experts warn that developing countries face obstacles that could starve billions of billions of dollars away from health. first proven protection against the virus.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday expressed concern that no major vaccine deal had yet been reached for the poorest countries.
“We will now speak with (the global vaccine alliance group) GAVI as to when these negotiations will begin because I am somewhat worried that nothing has been done about it yet,” Merkel told reporters. in Berlin after the virtual meeting of the G20.
The final communiqué of the G20 summit was unanimously approved by all countries, but Turkey wanted its “voice to be heard”, according to Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan. A separate statement from Ankara detailing his views on the press release is expected to be released later.