ROME/GENEVA, SEPTEMBER 10 – The Italian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Emanuela Del Re attended today the first meeting of the newly established “Facilitation Council” of the Accelerator ACT – Access to COVID-19 Tools, convened by the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen and the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom.
“Effective multilateralism driven by international cooperation and solidarity is the best tool we have to achieve the goal of equitable access to life-saving tools for all and everywhere”, she said, assuring Italy’s full commitment also in the next G20 Presidency, “where we will keep the response to the pandemic, global health and support to the ACT Accelerator as priorities”.
The ACT Accelerator is the structured international cooperation platform for the acceleration of research, development and equitable universal distribution of diagnostic and therapeutic tools and the future anti-COVID-19 vaccine, created last 24th April also at the Italian initiative. The “Facilitation Council” is the political governance body of the Accelerator as well as the main forum for coordination, discussion and decision making for the aspects falling within its mandate.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the meeting: “We now need US$35 billion more to go from set-up to scale and impact. There is a real urgency in these numbers. Without an infusion of US$15 billion over the next 3 months, beginning immediately, we will lose the window of opportunity”.
In her speech, Deputy Minister Del Re stressed that Italy has constantly promoted a coordinated global response to the pandemic and we were among the first countries to call for the creation of an international alliance, as proposed by Minister Di Maio, to promote research and equitable distribution of a vaccine.
“Italy has strongly supported the global mobilisation of the ACT Accelerator and, to confirm our full commitment, we will contribute additional funds that will bring Italy’s overall contribution to equitable access to vaccines for all, to over 100 million dollars,” the Deputy Minister announced.
Today’s meeting was held at a crucial pivot point for the ACT-Accelerator as it reviewed an updated strategy and investment case for its scale-up phase. The document will be finalised by 17 September 2020 with publication soon after. The UN Secretary-General has confirmed a high-level event will take place on 30 September 2020 at the forthcoming General Assembly. (@OnuItalia)