World leaders sign resolution to accelerate response to COVID-19
—lays out roadmap of actions at national and international levels
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, May 20, 2020
A consensus resolution on tackling COVID-19 and the way ahead was signed by several world leaders at the end of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) annual World Health Assembly on Tuesday.
In his regular media briefing today, WHO’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explained that the resolution sets out a clear roadmap of the critical activities and actions that must be taken to sustain and accelerate the response at the national and international levels.
It allocates duties to WHO and its member states and encapsulates the “whole of government and whole of society approach” advocated by the WHO from the onset of the COIVD-19 pandemic.
The Director-General noted that the resolution will “ensure a more coherent, coordinated and fairer response that saves both lives and livelihoods. The landmark resolution underlines the WHO’s key role in promoting access to safe, effective health technologies to fight the pandemic.”
He outlined four key objectives of the resolution:
- A global priority to ensure the fair distribution of all quality essential health technologies required to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Relevant international treaties should be harnessed where needed, including the provisions of the TRIPS agreement.
- COVID-19 vaccines should be classified as a global public good for health to bring the pandemic to an end.
- Collaboration to promote both private sector and government-funded research and development should be encouraged. This includes open innovation across all relevant domains and the sharing of all relevant information with WHO.
It was highlighted that an important collaborative response to this resolution will be the COVID-19 technology platform proposed by Costa Rica, to be launched on May 29, which is intended to create access to vaccines, medicines and other health products
Dr. Ghebreyesus also noted that the research and development agenda which was mapped out in February by the WHO is progressing. This road map gave rise to the solidarity trials which now include 3,000 patients in 320 hospitals across 17 countries and to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.
However, he related that the WHO is still concerned about the rising numbers of cases in low- and middle-income countries. “We still have a long way to go in this pandemic,” Dr. Ghebreyesus stated.