Given this shared challenge, we renew our commitment to multilateral solutions as expressed in several initiatives presented by Member States so far. We strongly believe that more effective cooperation, solidarity and a strong multilateral system are essential to overcome the pandemic safely, equitably and sustainably.
COVID-19 vaccinations strongly play into the entire development agenda. For getting back on track to achieving the SDGs, vaccinations are a key element. Getting the world vaccinated, leaving no one behind is the imperative of this time.
We are encouraged by the unprecedented scientific research and collaboration among governments, international institutions, civil society and the private sector, which resulted in the development and production of several COVID-19 vaccines in record time.
We commend the contributions made to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator to ensure equitable and affordable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, and its vaccine pillar, the COVAX facility, for promoting vaccine accessibility and affordability. COVAX is the key instrument to deliver on equitable and affordable access to safe, quality, efficacious and effective vaccines and these tools have proven to be effective, but require major scaling up. In that regard, we urge all Member States to continue providing further financial and in kind contributions, to fulfil the pledges made to date and encourage all countries to include financial contributions to the ACT-A in their recovery plan as this is a sound investment in the future.
We also acknowledge the significant number of donations of vaccines but, regret that nevertheless access to vaccines around the world continues to be highly uneven. We are concerned by the lack of access to vaccines, particularly in low and middle-income countries, and undue stockpiling.
We call on treating the COVID-19 vaccination as a global public good by ensuring affordable, equitable and fair access to vaccines for all, leaving no one behind.
We recognize that solidarity and cooperation in unprecedented times needs to be enhanced. Therefore extraordinary actions are needed to expand COVID-19 vaccine production globally through voluntary dissemination of technology and know-how, including by using TRIPS flexibilities if needed, in accordance with WTO rules and procedures.
There are examples of support for the scaling up of local vaccine production, for example the COVAX Vaccine Manufacturing Working Group, and we encourage all stakeholders to support this, since there continue to be challenges to be solved swiftly.
We must also be looking beyond vaccines: vaccination needs more than the vaccine. Country preparedness and readiness are important steps in the vaccination process. Strong health systems, providing essential health services are the cornerstones not only for successful vaccinations but also for ensuring resilient systems and pandemic preparedness in the future and for building back better. Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is critically important in building resilient health systems. And we need to maintain routine immunization against other communicable diseases too!
Furthermore, access to timely, accurate, and science-based information and addressing misinformation and disinformation are critical to overcome vaccine hesitancy, and we commend the Secretary-General’s “Verified” initiative in this regard.
We commit to working together towards the goal of vaccinating 70% of the world’s population by September 2022.
We also commit to work on pandemic preparedness, through taking lessons learned from this pandemic and other epidemics to better prevent, detect and respond to global health risks and emergencies including through a OneHealth approach and avoid the next outbreak from becoming a devastating pandemic. We also commit to strengthening global health systems and the WHO, in particular its capacity for preparedness and response in health emergencies.
Vaccination is not a race between countries but a race against the virus! Only together – through multilateral approaches, global cooperation and solidarity - we have a chance to defeat the virus everywhere.
9. Bosnia and Herzegovina
15. Costa Rica
18. Czech Republic
20. Dominican Republic
21. El Salvador
52. New Zealand
53. North Macedonia
61. Republic of Korea
63. Saudi Arabia
75. United Kingdom
76. United Arab Emirates
80. and the EU