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▷ G20: Establishment of a pandemic response task force as part of the …

31.10.2021 – 15:36

Action alliance against AIDS

Berlin (ots)

On October 29, 2021, the eve of the G20 summit of heads of state and government, the finance and health ministers of the G20 countries met under the Italian G20 presidency.

An important result of this meeting is the establishment of a task force to fight pandemics and the voluntary commitment of the G20 members to bring the current COVID-19 pandemic under control as quickly as possible everywhere. In addition, collective efforts to prepare, prevent, detect and respond to future pandemics are to be intensified. The G20 states assure that they will take all necessary steps to achieve the global goals recommended by the WHO of vaccination of at least 40 percent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and 70 percent by mid-2022. One looks in vain in the communiqué for concrete suggestions and initiatives on how this goal is to be achieved.

The so-called “Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator” (ACT-A) is also to be further supported and its mandate is to be extended until 2022. In addition, cooperation with global and regional initiatives is to be promoted, for example through the establishment of technology transfer hubs. Compared to an earlier version of the adopted statement, the word “voluntary” has been inserted here: one can assume that lobbyists in the industry who fear that their income will be limited by coercive measures have prevailed:

“In order to be able to fight the pandemic effectively, the technical capacities for the development and production of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics must be increased worldwide,” comments Tilman Rüppel, spokesman for the Alliance against AIDS. “This can only succeed if the legal possibilities for technology transfer are created and at the same time the necessary financing for the development and expansion of these technologies is made available. Resistance to the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights that affect the global supply of COVID must also be met 19 vaccines stand in the way, and which is being upheld primarily by Germany and the European Commission, will finally be abandoned. To designate COVID-19 vaccines as a ‘global, public good’ and at the same time to maintain the resistance to the TRIPS waiver, are a contradiction in terms: we need honest politics, “says Rüppel.

The statement recognizes that public health prevention funding needs to be more appropriate, sustainable and better coordinated. In order for this to be achieved, continuous collaboration between health and financial decision-makers is required so that potential funding gaps can be filled. Multilateral funding mechanisms must also be mobilized and the establishment of new funding mechanisms examined. Which mechanisms this could be remains open:

“It is absolutely necessary that health and finance ministers sit together to discuss new financing options. Regardless of which path is taken: the financing of the measures against COVID-19 and future pandemics must be sustainable and not at the expense of the programs for existing diseases, such as HIV, TB, malaria and other poverty-related diseases, “says Joachim Rüppel, spokesman for the Alliance against AIDS.

In order to further strengthen coordination between the finance and health ministries, the G20 members have agreed to set up a joint task force for finance and health. In order to ensure participation, representativeness and geographical coverage, the inclusion of further non-G20 members, regional bodies and international organizations is planned. Decisions on this are made on the basis of consensus among the G20 countries. The meaningful inclusion of the experiences of other vulnerable countries and civil society is planned:

“The word ‘to include’ can also be interpreted as a paraphrase for the fact that civil society and vulnerable countries in the global south will not be sitting at the table as equal partners,” says Joachim Rüppel. “COVID-19 has shown how much we are all in the same boat. What we need is global justice and solidarity. This is neither about development aid, nor about charity with which one can distinguish oneself through vaccination donations. Movement, we know about the importance of involving civil society in program planning and implementation, “adds Sylvia Urban, spokeswoman for the Alliance against AIDS.

Communique of the G20 health and finance ministers:

Press contact:

Peter Wiessner Tel: +49 (0) 30 2790 999 8
14; Email: [email protected]; Action alliance against AIDS;
Rungestr. 19, 10179 Berlin

Original content from: Campaign against AIDS, transmitted by news aktuell

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