President Ursula von der Leyen announced a new pledge of €4.9 billion by Team Europe, with the European Investment Bank, for universal access to coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments. Read the transcript of her first statements during the ‘Global Goal: Unite for our Future’ Summit. The event is ongoing and can be watched here.
On the world’s roadmap for ending this pandemic and the needs for investments
We will only end this pandemic when it has been ended everywhere. That means every person in the world having access to tests, treatments and vaccines, no matter where they live, where they are from or what they look like. For that, we need to invest in producing vaccines at unprecedented speed and scale. And a task of this size can only happen if the world unites. We need our best scientists to work together. We need our global health organisations to join forces. And we need governments, business and philanthropists to step in and provide funding. Tens of billions are required. This is why on 4 May I launched a pledging marathon to bring world leaders together. We raised almost 10 billion euro, And I am so grateful to those who pledged money. But we need more. This is why the European Commission teamed up with Global Citizen and with artists. I trust their power to bring people together, mobilise their energy and trigger change. We need to rebuild communities devastated by coronavirus in a fair and just way. This is why I am happy to announce that Team Europe today pledges another €4.9 billion to help vulnerable countries finance their recovery from the pandemic. This is thanks to the close partnership between the European Commission and the European Investment Bank.
On vaccine nationalism
I am a firm believer in vaccine multilateralism. To think that you can beat this virus by vaccinating only your own people while neglecting the others, is just plain wrong. We live in a very connected world. No country will be able to go back to normal while others are still fighting the virus. So, first, we need a vaccine. Then, we need to make this vaccine affordable. For that, I am trying to convince high-income countries to reserve vaccines not only for themselves but also for low- and middle income countries. This is what our campaign ‘Global Goal – Unite for our Future’ is about. This is a stress test for solidarity. And this event gives me hope.
On what today’s summit can achieve
Since this crisis started, we have already achieved a lot. We have built a network of states, global health institutions, philanthropists and businesses to provide a common answer to coronavirus. We started to collect money for a global response. We have built a system to coordinate the efforts of all players involved. Scientists, global health organisations, industry, logistics experts, public authorities. And we did all of this from scratch. None of this existed, none of this was ever done before. But the task will only be completed when vaccines, tests and treatments are available and affordable to every child, woman and man who needs them. Today’s event brings us one big step closer to that aim.
Compliments of the European Commission.