Rome [Italy]: The G20 leaders have agreed to strengthen the World Health Organisation’s processes for approval of COVID-19 vaccines so that the world can have a “larger bouquet of vaccines” for faster recovery from the effects of the pandemic, India’s G20 Sherpa Piyush Goyal said on Saturday.
Talking to ANI after the conclusion of the G20 Summit, Goyal said that it was also agreed that once the vaccines are accepted by World Health Organisation, there should become kind of a travel document to reflect the vaccines taken. The G20 leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, noted that fighting the pandemic has been a challenge but “we all are in it together”.
The leaders adopted Rome declaration at the Summit.
Referring to the significance of G20 Summit, Piyush Goyal said it will give a big message of recovery and the discussion around the table by the leaders and the communique that has come out –Rome Declaration– “gives us a strong reflection of the joint commitment of all the world leaders in the room”.
He said G20 countries represent 80 per cent of the world’s GDP.
The minister said that G20 leaders have sent a “strong message” to the world that the international community works as a team to accept vaccines, to get vaccines accepted faster by WHO, strengthening the WHO, creating a fund to support any such future pandemic”.
“The mood in the room was to strengthen the WHO processes for approval of vaccine so that we can have a larger bouquet of vaccines to make sure everybody is safe and the world can bounce back. Once the vaccines are accepted by WHO, there should become kind of a travel document,” he noted.
According to the declaration, the leaders said that they met in Rome to address most pressing global challenges and to converge upon common efforts to recover better from the COVID-19 crisis and enable sustainable and inclusive growth “in our countries and across the world”.
On health, the leaders agreed to advance their efforts to ensure timely, equitable and universal access to safe, affordable, quality and effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, with particular regard to the needs of low and middle-income countries.
“Recognizing that vaccines are among the most important tools against the pandemic, and reaffirming that extensive COVID-19 immunization is a global public good, we will advance our efforts to ensure timely, equitable and universal access to safe, affordable, quality and effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, with particular regard to the needs of low- and middle-income countries,” the declaration said.
The leaders also agreed to help boost the supply of vaccines and essential medical products and inputs in developing countries and remove relevant supply and financing constraints.
“To help advance toward the global goals of vaccinating at least 40 per cent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and 70 per cent by mid-2022, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO)’s global vaccination strategy, we will take steps to help boost the supply of vaccines and essential medical products and inputs in developing countries and remove relevant supply and financing constraints. We ask our Health Ministers to monitor progress towards this end and to explore ways to accelerate global vaccination as necessary,” the declaration read.
PM Modi had told G20 leaders on Saturday that India is ready to produce over 5 billion Covid vaccine doses by the end of next year to help the world in the fight against the pandemic.
A technical advisory group of the UN health agency will meet on November 3 to conduct a final “risk-benefit assessment” for Emergency Use Listing of Covaxin. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s Covishield are the two widely used vaccines in India.