Press Releases COVID-19 Global Action Plan: Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell at the Ministerial Meeting

COVID-19 Global Action Plan: Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell at the Ministerial Meeting

Thank you to all of you and in particular to you, dear Tony [Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State], for gathering us today.

Everybody agrees that the pandemic has taught us that we need to approach health at the global level. That is why we have been fully mobilised to contribute to the successful implementation of the Global Action Plan (GAP) to beat the pandemic.

We must now reflect on where more work is needed, like how to vaccinate populations in fragile humanitarian settings, or how to ensure access to testing and to the treatments for the most exposed and vulnerable.

And for this, we need a clear roadmap to do [this]. That is why, last November, we presented our European Union Global Health Strategy, which builds on the lessons learnt from the pandemic and presents actions that should help tackling health inequalities worldwide and combatting health threats.

Let me just briefly emphasise some key principles and lines of action of this Strategy.

First, we need a robust global health governance. This includes a more accountable and sustainably financed World Health Organization (WHO) at the core of the multilateral system. It also means more cooperation through G7, G20, and with other global, regional, and bilateral partners. This is essential to avoid the duplication and fragmentation of efforts in today’s very complex geopolitical environment.

Second, we are pushing for more effective funding of global health initiatives by promoting innovative finance and co-investing with partners and with the private sector. Together, we – the European Union and our Member States – are among the largest funders of global health in the world: we are among the first donors to the new Pandemic Fund, where we work together with the WHO, and which should be a key tool to fill critical gaps in pandemic preparedness.

Third, our approach is based on co-ownership and co-responsibility from partners. This means that global health is part of the political dialogues that we hold with our partners.

Today, health is no longer limited to a scientific and medical issue. It has become a critical element of foreign, security and trade policies. That is why global health now features among the priorities of our external action agenda. I believe we should all ensure that global health challenges remain at the top of the international political agenda.

Let us therefore remain engaged and coordinated as Foreign Affairs Ministers. You have my support in ensuring this coordination and participation of the European Union in this task and this process.

Thank you very much for your attention.

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