Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, took part via video conference on February 9 in the Facilitation Council of the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) alongside the WHO director general and ministers of participating countries.
ACT-A is a unique global collaboration set up on the initiative of France, the WHO, the European Commission and Germany; it is aimed at accelerating the development and production of tests, treatments and vaccines to combat Covid-19 and to ensure equitable access for all countries. France has supported the initiative since its launch and is contributing €560 million to help achieve its goals.
This meeting provided an opportunity to address the challenges of funding ACT-A and of adapting its strategy in the face of epidemiological developments and advances in vaccines, treatments and tests.
Jean-Yves Le Drian reaffirmed the importance of political mobilization in support of equitable and universal access to health products to combat Covid-19 which must be considered a global public good. Together with the members of the Council, the minister called on all stakeholders involved to ensure equitable and affordable access to vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests to tackle Covid-19 through the adoption of a Charter for equitable access to tools to combat Covid-19. This Charter, proposed by France, was announced by President Macron during the Paris Peace Forum in November and supported by the WHO general director.
Adopted today by all members of the ACT-A Facilitation Council, the Charter sets out six key principles for achieving this goal: i) building on public funding of research, ii) sharing data and knowledge, iii) encouraging the transfer of technology and transparent and fair prices, iv) mobilizing funding for ACT-A, (v) strengthening health systems and vi) coordinating the distribution of tests, treatments and vaccines.
South Africa, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Bahrein, Brazil, Canada, China, Spain, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, Norway, Uzbekistan, South Korea, United Kingdom, Rwanda, Singapore, Saint Kitts-and-Nevis, Tuvalu, Vietnam, the European Commission, the World Health Organisation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the World Economic Forum.