Secretary-General António Guterres, speaking via videolink from London, said there was no other way to combat a virus that spreads “like wildfire” throughout impoverished nations and risks mutating except through equitable, widespread vaccination, adding that injections must be “available and inexpensive to all.”
Mr. Guterres praised the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) for announcing a $50 billion programme to improve immunization delivery in developing countries ahead of the G7.
He was particularly encouraged by the United States and the United Kingdom’s recent declarations that they would donate more than half a billion doses to countries that couldn’t afford them. Mr. Guterres praised UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for saying that by the end of the summit, he expected the G7 to have pledged a billion doses.
He went on to say that the coronavirus is still causing “tremendous suffering” and destroying the world economy, and that “We are at war” with it. He emphasized the importance of a global vaccination strategy.
As the world’s average temperature continues to increase, almost to the point that the worldwide scientific community says is “the limit” to avoid “catastrophic events,” the UN head said climate action was his other goal for the first in-person G7 summit since the pandemic began.
Finally, the Secretary-General hoped that the G7 summit would “help pave the way for new and important decisions in the future.”