Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks at the launch of the statement of commitment and call for support for the global collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to new COVID-19 tools.
This launch brings together world leaders, the private sector, scientific and humanitarian actors and other partners to promote health, keep the world safe and advance the public good.
Human health is the quintessential global public good. And today, we face a global public enemy like no other. In an interconnected world, none of us is safe until all of us are safe. COVID-19 respects no borders. COVID-19 anywhere is a threat to people everywhere.
The world needs the development, production and equitable delivery of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, therapeutics and diagnostics. Not a vaccine or treatments for one country or one region or one-half of the world, but a vaccine and treatment that are affordable, safe, effective, easily-administered and universally available — for everyone, everywhere.
A world free of COVID-19 requires the most massive public health effort in history. Data must be shared, production capacity prepared, resources mobilized, communities engaged, and politics set aside. I know we can do it. I know we can put people first. These new tools must be a very clear and essential example of a global public good.
For too long, we have undervalued and underinvested in global public goods — a clean environment, cybersecurity, peace, the list goes on. So, let this be one vital lesson of this pandemic: the need for new urgency in support of global public goods and universal health coverage.
We are in the fight of our lives. We are in it together. And we will come out of it stronger, together.