European Union External Action

World Health Organisation: Joint Statement by the High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and Commissioner Stella Kyriakides on the adoption of the resolution on COVID-19 response at the World Health Assembly

Brussels, 19/05/2020 - 14:46, UNIQUE ID: 200519_10
Joint Statements

We welcome the World Health Assembly’s adoption by consensus of the resolution initiated by the European Union and its Member States on the importance of a collective response to the coronavirus pandemic. The 195 Member States of the World Health Organisation (WHO) have convened at the Assembly in unprecedented times, showing their determination to defeat the virus through collective, global action.

The virus knows no borders, and neither should our response. Strengthening multilateralism is now more important than ever. The resolution underlines the importance of responding to this crisis through solidarity and multilateral cooperation under the umbrella of the United Nations. We commend the WHO for its leading role in guiding the response to this crisis.

The resolution sets out actions for every single one of us. For countries around the world, for the WHO and for other international actors, including civil society and the private sector.

The role of equitable access to a vaccine in bringing the pandemic to an end is crucial. As a global, public health good it has to be affordable and accessible to everyone. Also, access to affordable equipment, medicines and treatments is vital. On 4 May, together with global partners, the EU launched a global pledging effort, which has so far gathered €7.4 billion from donors worldwide to ensure universal and affordable access to new solutions to detect, treat and prevent COVID-19. We invite, once again all, countries and partners to contribute with pledges to “the Coronavirus Global response” in favour of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.

Citizens around the world are worried. For their health, for their families, for their jobs. Today’s resolution recognises the need for engagement with the public through reliable information and the need to combat the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation.

The resolution also recalls the need for all of us to evaluate our performance. An independent investigation of how this pandemic started and spread will be important, as we will need to draw lessons from the current crisis to strengthen our global preparedness for the future.

By working together, united, and in solidarity, we will overcome this pandemic. Now is the time to work together. The health of each of us depends on the health of all of us.