MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –
Mr. Director General of the World Health Organization,
Madam President of the European Commission,
Madam Prime Minister [Norway],
Dear Melinda Gates,
The Covid-19 pandemic has already claimed the lives of over a million people and has severely affected our lives and our economies. It is a huge upheaval which, everywhere, exacerbates inequalities. An upheaval that also brings many new imbalances if we do not act, collectively.
Caregivers, in all our countries, are once again on the front lines. Their dedication is remarkable and I would once again like to express my greatest gratitude to them.
Each government is responsible for taking all possible measures to protect its population, to stop the circulation of the virus in its country in order, of course, to eradicate it permanently.
But faced with this planetary challenge, we also have a common responsibility, of cooperation and international solidarity. This is the best strategy against this virus that knows no borders, the weapon of our collective effectiveness.
It is with these beliefs that just over six months ago, as we faced the first wave of the pandemic, we decided to join forces. We knew that only a concerted and strong response from the entire international community would rise to this challenge.
Together, we have set up the ACT-A system, with the ambition of being part of a “global public good” approach, that is to say to allow access for all to these tools to fight against this pandemic.
The results obtained since are impressive: the first rapid tests, the first treatments are now available in all countries, rich or poor. I am also thinking of the COVAX facility, which should make it possible to provide two billion doses of vaccine, half of which to developing countries.
However, the struggle is only beginning and we must mobilize even more. Hence the importance of today’s meeting.
1 / Financial mobilization first, by raising the sums essential to meet this challenge.
In addition to our bilateral efforts and our support to Unitaid for the treatment pillar, I am pleased to confirm today that France will contribute € 100M to COVAX, as soon as a vaccine is available: it is essential so that developing countries can also rapidly benefit from vaccines. France has also pledged to provide an additional € 50 million to WHO, the only universal organization in the field of health. Its role is essential to strengthen the capacities of health systems. This is obviously an essential condition for the proper deployment of health products against Covid-19.
But public resources will not be enough. We must mobilize new sources of funding and appeal for everyone’s solidarity. In this regard, the private sector and the richest on this planet have a historic opportunity to respond to this call and contribute to the global response to the crisis.
Second point, we must also seek a new path, with innovative financing. France has played a pioneering role in this area since the beginning of the 2000s. We must, all together, relaunch international reflection on this subject in order to put in place the financial tools that will lift the billions of euros still missing.
3 / But money will not solve all the challenges posed by this pandemic. We must also get involved politically, for exemplary solidarity in terms of sharing solutions on a planetary scale. We cannot repeat the mistake of the fight against AIDS, where, for too long, molecules were in the North and patients in the South. Once developed, health products must be readily available to all who need them anywhere on the planet. I repeat, this is not simply a demand for justice, for morality; it is also and even first of all a matter of collective efficiency: because as long as a part of humanity, however small it is, will not be out of the woods, the whole planet will remain threatened. .
We therefore want everyone to commit to following common principles of transparency and fairness. We must ensure that the regulatory and political conditions are all met for the widest and fastest possible access to these products while respecting international quality standards.
This is why France is proposing that an ACT-A charter can be quickly adopted which reaffirms these main principles: sharing knowledge, supporting health systems, having rapidly accessible and affordable products, conditioning public funds intended for research, and coordinate the allocation of these products.
A project was presented by France and we invite everyone to mobilize on this question of the principles which must govern our common action to fight against the pandemic.
4 / Laboratories obviously also have a responsibility to contribute to equitable access. Some are taking the path, and I am delighted. More production partnerships must be engaged to produce in and for developing countries.
5 / Finally, I hope that France, with its European partners, can contribute directly to multilateral efforts, by donating part of our vaccine doses for the vaccination of healthcare workers in the poorest countries. An additional in-kind contribution would strengthen our financial and political support for ACT-A and would make it possible to deliver, within the same timeframe, to those who need it most, in the most fragile countries, the first doses of vaccine when these will be available.
More than ever, we must remain united, and to defeat Covid-19, also make the post-Covid world fairer, more balanced, more sustainable
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.