Tribune. Nothing could have demonstrated the need for international cooperation more convincingly and more tragically than the pandemic that swept the world and caused more than 3.7 million deaths. For the first time since the start of this disaster, the leaders of the G7 will meet in person this Friday in Cornwall for a summit which I will chair. I also invited the Prime Ministers of India and Australia, as well as the Presidents of South Korea and South Africa to expand this meeting of democracies and free societies.
Our common task is to overcome the pandemic, minimize the risk of recurrence and better rebuild ourselves after this tragedy. In Cornwall, the largest and most advanced economies will be gathered around the table, ready to deploy their capabilities and expertise against a common enemy.
The genius and perseverance of our scientists have provided us with safe and effective vaccines against Covid-19. Our most urgent task today is to use them to protect humanity as quickly as possible. The UK was involved in setting up Covax, the global alliance which, to date, has provided 80 million doses to developing countries. Almost all are doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, developed with the support of the UK government – and mobilizing experts from across the UK – to produce a vaccine that is inexpensive to administer and easy to store, thus allowing to protect as many people as possible in the world.
Create a network of monitoring centers
Britain has contributed £ 548m (€ 634m) to the Covax program, and we will also donate the vast majority of excess doses from our national immunization program. But in the heat of the emergency, we must all redouble our efforts. This is why I want the G7 to set itself a demanding but absolutely necessary goal: to deliver a billion doses to developing countries in order to immunize all the inhabitants of the world by the end of next year.
We must strengthen our collective capacity to prevent another pandemic and put in place an early warning mechanism
Nothing equivalent has never been attempted so far, but I would advise those who doubt the possibility of achieving it to draw inspiration from the unprecedented feats already achieved in the particularly difficult conditions of this pandemic. Our scientists have been developing vaccines against Covid-19 faster than ever before against any disease. Britain and many other countries are vaccinating their populations faster than anyone thought possible.
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