The following is the joint statement issued by the United States Secretary of State and Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
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 COVID pandemic. -19. Building on June 15e COVID-19 Senior Officials Meeting, HE Hayashi Yoshimasa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Honorable Antony Blinken, Secretary of State of the United States of America, convened a virtual meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Plan d Global COVID-19 Action (GAP) on July 19 with more than 25 countries, the African 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 preparing for future pandemic threats.
Participants discussed the need for equitable and sustainable access to safe, effective, quality-assured and affordable vaccines, diagnostics and treatments, as well as steps countries can take to increase confidence in vaccines. Participants reviewed actions to support 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 fund new initiatives such as the Financial Intermediate Fund (FIF) and ways forward. for mechanisms such as ACT-A and COVAX.
In his remarks, Minister Hayashi reiterated the importance for the whole world to maintain and accelerate countermeasures to defeat the pandemic, and presented Japan’s contributions to ensure equitable access to vaccines through financial contributions. to COVAX, dose donations and its “Last One Mile” support. . Minister Hayashi stressed the importance of the GAP which facilitates information sharing and coordination on the ground to implement assistance to meet the needs of each beneficiary country. He said we need to address the fragility of governance and financing related to global health and strengthen the foundations for better prevention, preparedness and response (PPR) to future health crises. He also announced Japan’s decision to provide $10 million in seed funding for the FIF at the World Bank. Furthermore, Minister Hayashi announced his intention to strengthen international partnerships for PPR in Africa during the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development on 27 and 28 August in Tunisia, and to actively contribute to the strengthening the global health architecture as host of the next G7 summit. year, towards the overall goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Secretary Blinken emphasized that new variants continue to pose a risk to the COVID-19 response and that the global work to end this acute phase of the pandemic is not complete, despite other demands and crises that are seeking global attention. He called on GAP partners to continue to advance GAP lines of effort and maintain high-level political focus on delivering concrete results ahead of the UN General Assembly in September. Secretary Blinken also called on partners to improve coordination and equitable access to vaccines and treatments, particularly with greater emphasis on delivering booster doses and increasing demand and uptake. use of pediatric doses. Secretary Blinken urged participants to focus on the collective commitment to strengthen the global health security architecture to prevent and prepare for future health threats. He also stressed the need to simultaneously address other persistent health threats, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which continue to claim lives and urged countries to contribute to the replenishment of the Global Fund. Finally, he thanked the partners for their support for the new FIF established with the World Bank and the World Health Organization and called on other countries to contribute to it.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reiterated his concern over the rise in COVID-19 cases worldwide, applauded the creation of a FIF at the World Bank and the urgency to end in the acute phase of the pandemic. The Director-General has emphasized the vaccination of all health workers, all the elderly and all groups at risk, in order to reach the WHO target of 70% vaccination coverage in every country.
Through ministerial remarks and discussions, participants identified progress and remaining challenges, and reconfirmed their commitment to strengthening efforts in the GAP’s six action areas: getting shot, building chain resilience supply chain, fill information gaps, support health workers, expand access to testing and treatment, and strengthen the global health security architecture in collaboration with multilateral efforts.
Participants who joined Japan and the United States in the Foreign Ministerial Meeting of the COVID-19 Global Action Plan included the Argentine Republic, the Commonwealth of Australia, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Belize, the Canada, the Republic of Colombia, the Republic of Costa Rica, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of India, the Republic of Indonesia, the State of Israel, the Italian Republic, Jamaica, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Maldives, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Kingdom or Norway, New Zealand, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Senegal, the Republic of South Africa, the Kingdom of Spain, Kingdom of Thailand, United Arab Emirates, African Union Centers for Disease Control/Africa, World Leaders World Health Organization and World Bank.