GENEVA – As the world comes together at an unprecedented virtual session of the 75th UN General Assembly (UNGA), WHO has three messages to share.
The first is about equitable access to COVID-19 tools. At UNGA, WHO will call on world leaders to support the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT)-Accelerator, a unique international collaboration to fast-track the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines globally, while strengthening health systems.
Pooling investments globally, the ACT-Accelerator provides a chance for all countries to access a greater number of tools more quickly, sharing the risks and costs together.
The ACT-Accelerator needs US$35 billion to fast-track the development, procurement and distribution of 2 billion vaccine doses, 245 million treatments and 500 million tests over the next year.
The investment needed in a global solution aimed at equitable access pales in comparison to the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the domestic stimulus packages designed to keep economies afloat.
Equitable access enables all countries to achieve full recovery by supporting all economic sectors, protecting the global value chain, and securing long-term global growth.
The second message is about maintaining the momentum towards achieving the sustainable development goals. The pandemic risks unravelling decades of gains made in health and development.
According to a recent WHO survey, 90% of countries are experiencing disruptions to essential health services due to the pandemic. The most frequently disrupted areas reported include routine immunization, non-communicable diseases diagnosis and treatment, family planning and contraception, treatment for mental health disorders, and cancer diagnosis and treatment.
COVID-19 offers a stark reminder of why we need to invest in stronger health and data systems, rooted in primary healthcare, to achieve universal health coverage and to meet the health-related targets of the SDGs.
The Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All (GAP) works to accelerate country progress on the health-related targets of the SDGs, with the support of 12 multilateral agencies engaged in health, development and humanitarian response. This week we’ll learn about the progress made in laying the groundwork for a decade of delivery and action.
Finally, we must prepare for the next pandemic together, now. COVID-19 has shown us that the world was woefully unprepared – despite the many warning signs and warnings.
A year ago at UNGA, the independent Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) warned of the threat of a pandemic, calling for global leaders to take urgent, united action to prepare.
Earlier this week, the GPMB issued its 2020 report “World in disorder”. The report looks at a world disorientated by COVID-19, suffering from a lack of leadership and timely action. It calls for a renewed commitment to multilateralism and to WHO.
At UNGA, WHO will call on all citizens and leaders to support the five actions outlined in the GPMB 2020 report: responsible leadership; engaged citizenship; strong and agile systems for health security; sustained investment and robust global governance of preparedness.
Our actions today will define our collective future.
INFORMATION FOR PLANNING EDITORSon key upcoming events involving WHO participation
(Schedule subject to change. Please use this information for planning purposes only)
Tuesday 15 September 2020
o 14:00 CET SDG Global Action Plan progress report launch
o 18:00 CET , COVID-19 virtual press conference with UNICEF Executive Director and UNESCO Director-General
Thursday 17 September 2020
o TBC ACT-A event at the G20 Health & Finance ministers meeting
o 09:30 CET COVID-19 virtual press conference, with Jeremy Hunt (theme: World Patient Safety Day)
o 10:00 CET UN75: Human rights council panel discussion on “COVID-19 and the Right to Development: We are all in this together”
o 15:00 CET, Global Interdependence Virtual Summit by One Shared World
o 15:30 CET Virtual Summit on Women in Global Health Security: High-level panel on “Achieving Global Health Security”.
o TBC Global Interdependence Virtual Summit by One Shared World
Friday 18 September 2020
o 17:00 CET COVID-19 virtual press conference
Monday 21 September 2020
o 17:00 CET COVID-19 virtual press conference (theme: UNGA75 and GPMB report “World in Disorder”)
Wednesday 23 September 2020
o 13:00 CET Bloomberg Equality Summit: Now or Never: Inclusion in the Age of Disruption.
o 14:00 CET WHO side event: Infodemic Management: Promoting healthy behaviors in the time of COVID-19 and mitigating the harm from misinformation and disinformation.
o 16:00 CET WHO side event – Progress and multisectoral action towards achieving global targets to end TB.
Thursday 24 September 2020
o TBC Digital Cooperation: Tech response to COVID-19.
o 14:00 CET WHO side event: Network of networks: Global Digital Health Community.
o 16:00 CET WHO side event: UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases: working with Member States to deliver the SDG Goals.
Friday 29 September 2020
o 10:00 CET The Bahrain Visions Forum 2020: Sustainable Development Goals Beyond Covid-19 Pandemic
o TBD Sanitation and Hygiene Fund Launch event
Saturday 30 September 2020
o 14:30 CET High level side event: Accelerating the end of the COVID-19 pandemic: Taking new solutions to scale and making them equitably accessible, to save lives, protect health systems and restart the global economy - coincides with 8 months of PHEIC.
o 16:00 CET WHO side event: Youth and Health: Changemakers in the Changing World, Support youth engagement representation in global health governance (fighting misinformation).
Sunday 1 October 2020
o 13:00 CET WHO side event: Sustainable preparedness for health security and resilience through a whole-of-society approach: Breaking the “panic-then-forget” cycle.
Media contacts at WHO in Geneva: email@example.com Farah Dakhlallah at firstname.lastname@example.org
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