PM Johnson Says World Must Unite to Defeat COVID-19, Prevent Future Pandemics

Addis Ababa : British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will call on world leaders to overcome the extraordinary divisions created by COVID-19 and unite to defeat the pandemic in his address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Saturday.

In his virtual address to the assembly, the prime minister will point out that after nine months of fighting Covid, the very notion of the international community looks tattered.

And warns “We know that we cannot continue in this way. Unless we unite and turn our fire against our common foe, we know that everyone will lose.”

PM Johnson will also announce a series of new measures to help lead the world out of the crisis and set out an ambitious five-point plan to prevent a future pandemic, according to a statement from the British Embassy in Addis Ababa.

The plan, developed in consultation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The Wellcome Trust, starts with a proposal to develop a worldwide network of ‘zoonotic hubs’ to identify dangerous pathogens before they leap from animals to humans, as COVID-19 is believed to have done.

Other measures include boosting manufacturing capacity for treatments and vaccines, improving pandemic early warning systems, agreeing with global protocols for health crises, and removing trade barriers.

The Prime Minister will also announce significant new investment in COVAX, the international COVID-19 vaccines procurement pool.

In this regard, the UK will contribute an initial 71 million pound to secure purchase rights for up to 27 million vaccine doses for the UK population.

This complements other initiatives by the Government to procure any coronavirus vaccine that proves to be safe and effective.

Alongside the domestic investment, the UK will commit 500 million pounds in aid funding for the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, a facility to help 92 of the world’s poorest countries access a coronavirus vaccine.

The funding will support developing countries in tackling the virus and help to halt the global spread of the pandemic, keeping us all safer.

The Prime Minister will also announce the UK’s pledge of 340 million pounds over the next four years to the World Health Organization – an increase of 30 percent from the previous four-year period, making Britain one of the largest donors.

Funding for the WHO will support its vital work in fighting threats to our health worldwide.

Boris Johnson will pledge to use the UK’s G7 presidency next year to work with our global partners to implement the five-point plan, which represents an innovative new approach to preventing global health crises.

Boris Johnson will pledge to use the UK’s G7 presidency next year to work with our global partners to implement the five-point plan to preventing global health crises.



Source: Ethiopia News agency