UN Secretary-General urges support for vaccine to control COVID-19

UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed an EU-hosted pledging conference called to raise funds to accelerate the development of a vaccine and other diagnostic tools to control COVID-19 as part of the Coronavirus Global Response.

The conference aimed to raise 7.5 billion euros to speed up the development and production of, and ensure equitable access to, new COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.

European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, opened the online video conference by pledging 1 billion euros on the part of the European Commission to the collective effort to development treatments and urged countries to mobilize further funds.

“I thank the European Commission and its partner governments, for their leadership in hosting this important pledging conference. This is exactly the kind of leadership the world needs today,” Guterres said.

The Secretary-General told the conference that COVID-19, in just a few months, has affected more than 3.3 million people and claimed 230,000 lives around the world.

”Comprehensive, coordinated public health measures are critical to slow transmission and save lives,” Guterres told the global conference which was hosted by the European Commission, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway and Saudi Arabia. Leaders of those countries, and many others, were to address the high-level conference.

”I welcome the generous contributions being announced today towards the initial goal of 7.5 billion euros,” Guterres added. The Secretary-General noted that five times that amount was needed for the global response.

The Secretary-General stressed that the new tools could help fully control the pandemic and he emphasized that they must be treated as public goods that would be available to all.

“Only the development, production and deployment of vaccines and treatments will relegate the virus to the archive of history,” Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, told the conference.


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