World Health Organization: WHO Director General: Tools to Fight COVID-19 Not Equally Available
World Health Organization briefing for Friday, April 24, 2020, Geneva, Switzerland.
“Past experience has taught us that even when tools are available, they have been not been equally available to all. We cannot allow that to happen.”
Prepared Opening Remarks
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis that has been met with an unprecedented global response.
Research and development have played a central role.
Since January, WHO has been working with thousands of researchers all over the world to accelerate and track vaccine development – from developing animal models to clinical trial designs, and everything in between.
We’ve also developed diagnostics that are being used all over the world;
And we’re coordinating a global trial on the safety and efficacy of four therapeutics against COVID-19.
The world needs these tools, and it needs them fast.
Past experience has taught us that even when tools are available, they have been not been equally available to all.
We cannot allow that to happen.
Today, WHO is proud to be uniting with many partners to launch the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, or the ACT Accelerator.
This is a landmark collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics for COVID-19.
Our shared commitment is to ensure all people have access to all the tools to defeat COVID-19.
The ACT Accelerator brings together the combined power of several organizations to work with speed and scale.
Each of us are doing great work, but we cannot work alone.
We’re coming together to work in new ways to identify challenges and solutions together.
I am especially grateful to President Emmanuel Macron, President Ursula von der Leyen and Bill and Melinda Gates for their leadership and partnership in co-hosting this ACT Accelerator launch.
We’re also grateful for the support of many world leaders, who you will hear from today.
And I would especially like to thank Sir Andrew Witty and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for agreeing to act as Special Envoys for the ACT Accelerator.
We are facing a common threat, which we can only defeat with a common approach.
I would now like to invite the other co-hosts to speak, beginning with His Excellency, President Emmanuel Macron.
Monsieur le Président, you have the floor.