Global leaders adopt agenda to overcome COVID-19 crisis and avoid future pandemics

On Friday 21 May, G20 leaders committed to a series of actions to accelerate the end of the COVID-19 crisis everywhere and better prepare for future pandemics. The Global Health Summit was co-hosted in Rome by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, as G20 chair. The G20 underlined the importance of increased and diversified manufacturing and recognised the role of intellectual property in ensuring equity. In that respect, the EU intends to facilitate the implementation of those flexibilities by putting forward a proposal in the WTO, in particular on the use of compulsory licenses including for exports to all countries that lack manufacturing capacity. The G20 clearly stressed the need to ensure equitable access to vaccines and to support low and middle-income countries. The leaders further agreed on the need for early warning information, surveillance and trigger systems, which will be interoperable. Team Europe presented to the summit concrete contributions to respond to this call, including its work with industrial partners, which are manufacturing vaccines in Europe, to rapidly make available vaccine doses for low and middle-income countries. Team Europe aims at donating 100 million doses of vaccines to low and middle-income countries until the end of the year, in particular through COVAX. So far, the EU has exported as many vaccines as it has received for its citizens, and Team Europe has mobilised over €40 billion to support partner countries worldwide to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and mitigate its socioeconomic consequences, as shown in this factsheet. To boost manufacturing capacity in Africa and access to vaccines, medicines and health technologies, Team Europe launched on Friday a €1 billion initiative. A press release and factsheet on this initiative are available online, along with a press release on a new financing platform to support health security and resilience in Africa. For more information on the Global Health Summit see the full press release and the Rome Declaration, President von der Leyen‘s opening address at the Global Health Summit and at the pre-Summit, the main recommendations from the civil society consultation and the report of the Scientific Panel. Photos and videos of the summit are available on EbS.