"Victory over the virus can only be global" [fr]
SEVENTY-FIFTH UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
ACCELERATING THE END OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC:
TAKING NEW SOLUTIONS TO SCALE TO SAVE LIVES, PROTECT HEALTH SYSTEMS AND RESTART THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
STATEMENT BY MR JEAN-BAPTISTE LEMOYNE,
MINISTER OF STATE FOR TOURISM, FRENCH NATIONALS ABROAD AND FRANCOPHONIE
New York, 30 September 2020
We have made considerable progress since the beginning of this epidemic. Diagnostic tools are improving, and the first treatments are saving lives and lightening the burden on our health care systems. Every day, we are a step closer to developing a vaccine.
It is thanks to our multilateral efforts, the only way to effectively tackle this crisis, to these innovations and to our better understanding of the virus, that we can bring an end to this epidemic.
But it would be unthinkable for access to these innovations to be left to market forces, going to highest bidder alone.
These tools must be available to all those who need them, as global public goods. ACT-A has done important work in a few months, but that goal is not yet guaranteed. But it is an imperative, both for solidarity and for effectiveness, because victory over the virus can only be global.
This is why France wants all ACT-A stakeholders to adopt shared principles around this global public goods goal, which could take the form of a charter, with several major thrusts:
1/ Pooling of the results of research and clinical trials;
2/ A global allocation strategy, supported by WHO, in order to respond fairly to the most pressing needs;
3/ A fair price, justified by transparent practices open to auditing of the cost of research, development and production. For while the pharmaceutical industry has an essential role in these innovations, and I would like to commend its role, it would be unacceptable for some to profit from public distress;
4/ Voluntary sharing of intellectual property to multiply production capacities and address global needs.
We also need to ensure that countries’ health systems are capable of receiving and providing their people with COVID-19 products fairly and safely. To prepare countries and ensure healthcare professionals are well protected, that epidemiological data are available, and that communities are involved in the response, strengthening the key functions of health systems is crucial.
France is fully engaged in the essential financial efforts to ensure developing countries have access to vaccines, and will contribute €100M to this goal once a vaccine is available.
With this public health crisis, we are at a crossroads: selfishness and failure are on one side; solidarity, multilateralism and success on the other. We must be equal to the situation, and overcome rivalries.