A ministerial meeting in virtual format, organized on Tuesday July 19, 2022, at the initiative of the United States and Japan with the participation in particular of Morocco, underlined the urgency of strengthening political commitment and coordination to eradicate the coronavirus pandemic. “As the world continues to grapple with the far-reaching impacts and new variants of Covid-19, there remains an urgent need to maintain and strengthen political commitment and coordination to end the acute phase of the pandemic,” in a joint statement that sanctioned the meeting of foreign ministers of the Global Action Plan on Covid-19, published by the US State Department. The meeting saw the participation of more than 25 countries, the European Union, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank.
“Foreign Ministers and senior leaders of countries, regions and international organizations reaffirmed the need for coordinated international leadership and political will to end the acute phase of the Covid-19 pandemic and strengthen preparedness for future pandemic threats,” according to the document. Emphasis was placed on the occasion on the need for equitable and sustainable access to safe, effective, quality-assured and affordable vaccines, diagnostics and treatments, as well as measures that countries can take to increase the confidence in vaccines. To this end, participants reviewed actions aimed at supporting the effective production, distribution and use of diagnostics and therapeutics. Seeking to bridge the financing gap for pandemic preparedness and response, participants also discussed how countries can support and finance new initiatives such as the Financial Intermediate Fund and ways forward for mechanisms. such as ACT-A and COVAX.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has reiterated his concern over the increase in Covid-19 cases around the world, recalling the importance of ensuring vaccination of all health workers, the elderly and groups at risk, in order to reach the WHO target of 70% vaccination coverage in all countries. The head of the American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, underlined, for his part, that new variants continue to present a risk for the response to Covid-19, noting that the global action in the face of this acute phase of the pandemic “n is not over despite other demands and crises that demand global attention”. He also highlighted the imperative to strengthen the global health security architecture to prevent and prepare for future health threats.