21 May 2021
Co-Chair of the ACT-Accelerator, Prime Minister Erna Solberg,
Friends and colleagues,
Welcome to the ACT-Accelerator segment of this Global Health Summit.
It is my privilege to be co-chair of the Facilitation Council of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, together with Prime Minister Solberg of Norway.
While we have made progress as the international community in battling the pandemic, there are still substantial hurdles, including shortages of vaccines, oxygen supplies and other lifesaving interventions.
The unequal distribution of vaccines, tests, treatments and personal protective equipment is widening the gulf between high- and low-income countries.
Since its establishment just over a year ago, the ACT Accelerator has facilitated access to diagnostics and therapeutics for COVID-19 for low and middle income countries.
It is the most viable global mechanism to ensure equity of access.
To maintain this good work, we need to step up our commitment through financial support.
For the ACT Accelerator to implement its priorities for this year, we need to urgently mobilise approximately US$ 18.5 billion.
It is in our common interests that all countries are able to vaccinate their populations as quickly as possible, and that special support is given to low- and middle-income countries.
In this regard, we appeal to all countries to support the proposal made to the World Trade Organization for a temporary waiver of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
This will facilitate increased production of vaccines in emerging economies.
Now is the time to deepen our collaboration to ensure equitable access to medicines.
Let us move forward in the spirit of solidarity and partnership.
I thank you.