Leaders in 23 countries and the World Health Organization on Tuesday supported the idea of creating an international treaty that would help the world deal with future health crises such as the coronavirus pandemic that is now ravaging the world.
The idea of such a treaty, which would ensure universal and equitable access to vaccines, medicines and diagnostics for pandemics, was floated by the President of EU leaders Charles Michel at a G20 summit last November.
On Tuesday, it received formal support from the leaders of Fiji, Portugal, Romania, the United Kingdom, Rwanda, Kenya, France, Germany, Greece, Korea, Chile, Costa Rica, Albania, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the Netherlands, Tunisia, Senegal, Spain, Norway, Serbia, Indonesia, Ukraine and WHO.
“There will be other pandemics and other major health crises. No single government or multilateral authority can deal with this threat alone,” the leaders wrote in a joint opinion piece in major newspapers.
“We believe that nations should work together towards a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response,” they said.
The main goal of such a treaty would be to strengthen the world’s resilience to future pandemics through better warning systems, data sharing, research and production and distribution of vaccines, medicines, diagnostics and personal protective equipment, they said.
The treaty would also say that the health of humans, animals and the planet are all linked and should lead to shared responsibility, openness and cooperation globally.
“We are convinced that it is our responsibility as leaders of nations and international institutions to ensure that the world learns from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the leaders wrote.