Covid-19: World leaders unite to call for a pandemic treaty, declaring: “No one is safe until we are all safe”

More than 20 national leaders, including Frenchman Emmanuel Macron, Briton Boris Johnson and Germany’s Angela Merkel, wrote an article published in several media on Tuesday warning that it was “not if, but when” the next crisis sanitary would strike.

The article calls for greater international cooperation and says countries should avoid isolationism and nationalism.

“There will be other pandemics and other major health emergencies. No single government or multilateral agency can address this threat on its own. The question is not if, but when,” the article said. .

The stern warning comes as countries and trade blocs continue to clash over vaccine supply. Some of those who signed the letter were recently involved in sniping shots at vaccine shipments.

The European Union and the UK are in a long war of words over contracts with drugmaker AstraZeneca to supply its vaccine, while some EU member states have repeatedly expressed frustration with the vaccine rollout against the stammering of the block.

But the group that signed Tuesday’s article took a markedly different tone, stressing that unity and coordination are key to future pandemics.

Among its authors is the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has previously warned against vaccine nationalism and a “me first” approach to vaccination.

World leaders wrote that they are “committed to ensuring universal and equitable access to safe, effective and affordable vaccines, drugs and diagnostics for this pandemic and the future.”
“We believe that nations should work together on a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response,” they added.

Signatures from the United States, China and Russia are missing

There are a few notable exceptions to the list of article signatories.

The leaders of the United States, China and Russia did not put their names on the coin, but Tedros said all member states would still be included in discussions on an international treaty.

The WHO chief described the open letter as being signed on an “opt-in” basis, but stressed that comments from states, including the United States and China, were “genuinely positive”.

“When the discussion on the pandemic treaty begins, all member states will be represented,” he said.

Tedros was speaking to the press on Tuesday in Geneva, after a meeting with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

“There is quite a lot of support, not only through the editorial but also through the bilateral contacts that we have with all the nations around the world, including the countries that have not signed this editorial. , but who react quite positively to the idea, ”said Michel.

To date, more than 127 million cases of coronavirus have been officially recorded worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally. The virus has killed more than 2.7 million people and has almost crippled parts of the world in the past year.

The joint article comes as Europe grapples with a third wave of the pandemic and cases increase in Brazil and India.

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