Delegation of the European Union to Nicaragua

Global Health Summit: United against COVID-19

24/05/2021 - 16:09
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Leaders of the G20 committed to a series of actions to accelerate the end of the COVID-19 crisis everywhere and better prepare for future pandemics, at a summit on 21 May 2021 co-hosted by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, as G20 chair.


The Global Health Summit brought together G20 leaders, heads of international and regional organisations, and representatives of global health bodies, to share lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and develop and endorse the Rome Declaration' of principles. The Russian Federation was represented by Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova.

President Ursula von der Leyen said: “This very first G20 summit on health marks the beginning of a new chapter in global health policy. World leaders strongly committed to multilateralism and global cooperation in health. This means, no export bans, keeping global supply chains open and working to extend production capacity everywhere. If we live up to these principles, the world will be better prepared for pandemics.”

The G20 underlined the importance of increased and diversified manufacturing and recognized the role of intellectual property in ensuring equity, both through voluntary licensing and knowledge transfer, as well as in the context of the flexibilities provided by the TRIPS agreement. In that respect, the EU intends to facilitate the implementation of those flexibilities, in particular the use of compulsory licenses including for exports to all countries that lack manufacturing capacity.

At the event, President Ursula von der Leyen announced an initiative on manufacturing and access to vaccines, medicines and health technologies in Africa. The initiative is backed by €1 billion funding from the EU budget, European development finance institutions, such as the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The principles of the agreed Rome Declaration should be a powerful guide for further multilateral cooperation and joint action to prevent future global health crises, and for a joint commitment to build a healthier, safer, fairer and more sustainable world. They include, in particular:

  • Support and enhance the existing multilateral health architecture;
  • Promote the multilateral trading system, noting the central role of the WTO, and the importance of open, resilient, diversified, secure, efficient and reliable global supply chains across the whole value chain related to health emergencies;
  • Enable equitable, affordable, timely, global access to high-quality, safe and effective prevention, detection and response tools;
  • Increase the effectiveness of preparedness and response measures by supporting and promoting meaningful and inclusive dialogue;
  • Address the need for enhanced, streamlined, sustainable and predictable mechanisms to finance long-term pandemic preparedness, prevention, detection and response.

More information

Global leaders adopt agenda to overcome COVID-19 crisis and avoid future pandemics (press release by the European Commission, 21/05/2021)

Global Health Summit Website



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