Universal access to future Covid-19 vaccines was the subject, on Saturday, of an avalanche of promises and declarations of intent from members of the G20, held virtually until Sunday at the invitation of Saudi Arabia.
At the opening of the summit, which was held by interposed screens, King Salman of Saudi Arabia set the tone for the discussions, report Arab News : “Although we are optimistic about the progress made in the development of vaccines, therapies and diagnostic tools for Covid-19”, we must also ensure that these tools will be “Accessible to all, equitably and affordably”, did he declare.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted that access to vaccines was “A global challenge that could only be met by working in concert with international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations and the G20”, adding that rich countries should “Take out their checkbook so that poorer countries have access to the vaccine”, according to German wave.
French President Emmanuel Macron also struck a chord, observe The Hill, calling for a “Equitable distribution of the vaccine”. Can we “Avoid a scenario in which only the rich will have access to it, and will be able to protect themselves and return to normal life?”, he asked his counterparts.
My country first!
Declarations which hardly move CBS News. The site of the American channel recalls that “If the countries of G20 have contributed billions of dollars to the development of a vaccine against the virus, they have also focused mainly on their own supply ”.
“Countries like the UK, France and Germany – all members of the G20 – negotiated directly with pharmaceutical companies to receive billions of doses. Therefore, most of the vaccine production that will be available next year is already booked ”, specifies the site.
Money nevertheless remains the sinews of war and The country echoed a letter signed by “Several leaders” of G20 asking in particular the group of “Cover the $ 4.5 billion that the fund still needsWHO dedicated to the distribution of vaccines ”.
“It remains to be seen what will be the room for maneuver of the leaders to succeed in integrating these objectives in the final declaration” of G20 before the end of the summit, qualifies the Spanish daily.
Trump slips away
Russia and China have already promised to make their vaccines available to foreign countries. According to Al Arbiya, Vladimir Putin said that “Safe and effective vaccines should be available to all and that Russia was ready to provide its coronavirus vaccines to countries in need”.
Same promise from Xi Jinping, according to the Chinese official agency Xinhua : “We will respect our commitment to offer assistance and support to other developing countries, and to make vaccines a public good, affordable and accessible to the world population”, said the Chinese leader.
Donald Trump had no promises to make because he had eclipsed before the specific discussions on Covid-19, highlighted CNN. He was certainly present at the opening of the summit, but after “13 minutes”, he was already sending “Tweets about his efforts to overturn the result of the US presidential election”.
When the leaders began to talk more specifically about the efforts to be made in terms of vaccines, the American president had already gone to play golf. “There appears to have been no American representation in this discussion”, deplores CNBC.
The United States crossed the 12 million Covid-19 case mark on Saturday. The virus has killed more than 255,000 in the country, where the epidemic is in phase “Exponential”, according to health authorities.