Chairs’ summary by Svenja Schulze, German Minister for Development Cooperation, and Karl Lauterbach, German Minister for Health, in their capacity as Co-Chairs of the Joint Working Session of G7 Development and Health Ministers
On May 19, 2022, G7 development and health ministers met for a joint session on “Supporting Vaccine Equity and Pandemic Preparedness in Developing Countries”. G7 ministers discussed two key issues: i) accelerating equitable and sustainable access to safe, effective and quality-assured vaccines, treatments and diagnostics (VTDs) in developing countries and ii) strengthening prevention , Pandemic Preparedness and Response (PPR) in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). Reiterating the statement of the G7 Foreign Ministers on Ukraine, we condemn the unjustifiable, unprovoked and illegal war of aggression waged by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and its people. We are deeply concerned about the broad economic, health, social, food, human rights and political consequences of Russia’s war of aggression, both regionally and globally.
Session 1: Accelerating Equitable and Sustainable Access to Safe, Effective and Quality-Assured Vaccines, Treatments and Diagnostics (VTDs) in Developing Countries G7 Development and Health Ministers confirmed their commitment to overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic in all countries through rapid global distribution of safe, effective, quality-assured and affordable vaccines, as well as diagnostics, therapeutics and other essential health commodities, in order to close the global health gap. equity in vaccines and to support the LMICs in this regard. They emphasized that to achieve these urgent goals and to support the transition to longer-term, integrated COVID-19 control, capacities for distribution and deployment of VTDs as well as appropriate testing and surveillance strategies in LMICs must be strengthened, in particular through more resilient public health. systems and capacity building, while adapting to national and regional specificities, based on epidemiological data. They pledged to continue to support delivery efforts, especially on the last mile and to ensure that access to vulnerable groups is prioritized, of life-saving vaccines and medical tools in developing countries through bilateral measures. and multilateral and complementary and coordinated. They also pledged to support continued innovation to develop new and better tools and to support evidence-based approaches for vaccination and treatment strategies as the virus continues to evolve.
Ministers also reaffirmed their support for all pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), including adequate contributions to enable ACT-A to end the acute phase of the pandemic. in 2022, as well as substantial contributions to vaccine support for COVAX AMC Eligible Countries. To date, the G7 has collectively made $18.3 billion available to this enterprise. Multilateral contributions to ACT-A partner organizations and accompanying bilateral efforts were highlighted as equally critical to ending the acute phase of the pandemic in 2022.
The G7 ministers also underlined their support for the targeted increase in demand-driven global vaccine production as well as the substantial and sustainable strengthening of viable regional production of VTDs in developing countries, particularly in Africa. In particular, the G7 ministers underlined their continued commitment to provide technical or financial support for long-term productive capacity building, the creation of strengthened and harmonized regulatory environments and the need to create sustainable markets. They discussed the role pharmaceutical companies can play with respect to voluntary technology transfer and licensing. G7 ministers reaffirmed their support for the African Union’s goal of reaching a 60% production rate by 2040 and will continue to support the WHO vaccine technology transfer center launched in South Africa. South. Building the capacity of reliable VTDs and supporting health personnel in LMICs was highlighted as a crucial step to overcoming the equity gap and ensuring sustainable production.
Session 2: Strengthening pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR) in low- and middle-income countries G7 ministers also discussed prevention, preparedness and response measures for future pandemics and emergencies sanitary. They recognized that leveraging our collective investments and actions to end COVID-19 and support pandemic PPR in all countries and regions are fundamental to sustainably strengthening global health security and health system performance. They felt it was crucial to reinforce universal health coverage (UHC) goals and align pandemic PPR as part of a mutually reinforcing system. The Ministers also underlined that it is essential to support the LMICs to increase the resilience of the health system, as well as to strengthen One Health approaches. Such a framework recognizing the links between human, animal and environmental health was underlined as crucial to allow the deployment of surveillance capacities covering an intersectoral scope at the national level, allowing in particular to better anticipate and prevent the emergence of infectious diseases with potential pandemic. . Ministers noted with particular concern the importance of ensuring gender-equitable access to gender-sensitive health services, including sexual and reproductive health services, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized populations, as well as the importance of developing a more equitable health system in terms of preparedness and response mechanisms.
G7 ministers discussed the objective of strengthening the global health architecture, with WHO at its centre, and ensuring adequate and sustainable funding for the strengthening of pandemic PPR, in particular in areas currently underfunded, which could be addressed in part by a new Financial Intermediate Fund for Pandemic Preparedness at the World Bank. They also reaffirmed that the strengthening, reform and sustainable financing of WHO will be essential. In addition, G7 ministers pledged to support the International Negotiating Body (INB) to draft and negotiate a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on disaster prevention, preparedness and response. pandemic, recognizing that an inclusive process with all WHO Member States and civil society is needed. key to successful implementation. The G7 Ministers also reaffirmed the importance of further strengthening the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005), including through implementation, compliance and targeted changes through a comprehensive and inclusive process taking into account the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. G7 ministers welcomed discussions on improving accountability measures for PPR. Finally, the G7 Ministers agreed that the ongoing multiple crises should not distract from other epidemics, communicable and non-communicable diseases and health issues, such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, poliomyelitis, neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), sexual and reproductive health and health issues. rights and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).