UK 'must keep Britain safe before sharing vaccine' says Kwarteng
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Amid vaccine wars and inoculation misinformation, the leaders have put aside their differences to issue a call for action. The world leaders came together to push for international cooperation going forwards, saying Covid-19 had been “a stark and painful reminder that nobody is safe until everyone is safe”.
The leaders have said a new treaty similar to the one signed by countries in the aftermath of World War 2 is needed to help better prepare the world for the next global health challenge.
In a joint op-ed, the leaders said “temptations of isolationism and nationalism” should be dispelled in favour of an internationalist approach.
They described Covid-19 as “the biggest challenge to the global community” since the end of the war in 1945.
An op-ed published in newspapers all over the world today said: “At that time, following the devastation of two world wars, political leaders came together to forge the multilateral system.
“The aims were clear – to bring countries together, to dispel the temptations of isolationism and nationalism and to address the challenges that could only be achieved together in the spirit of solidarity and co-operation, namely peace, prosperity, health and security.
“Today we hold the same hope that, as we fight to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic together, we can build a more robust international health architecture that will protect future generations.”
The call from the world leaders has been supported by the World Health Organisation.
The op-ed said countries should work together to ensure next time there is a health emergency, the world is ready to respond in a collective manner.
It added: “We believe that nations should work together towards a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response.
“Such a renewed collective commitment would be a milestone in stepping up pandemic preparedness at the highest political level.
“It would be rooted in the constitution of the World Health Organisation, drawing in other relevant organisations key to this endeavour, in support of the principle of health for all.”
Mr Johnson’s teaming up with the French President and German Chancellor comes after weeks of bitter feuding between the UK and EU over the rollout of coronavirus vaccines.
The European Commission has threatened to block vaccine exports to the UK after struggling with the pace of its immunisation drive.
It warned it could ban AstraZeneca and Pfizer from sending doses abroad until the EU has given jabs to a higher percentage of the population.
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Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said last week AstraZeneca “has to catch up, has to honour the contract it has with the European member states, before it can engage again in exporting vaccines”.
The drugs manufacturer sparked outrage within the bloc when it admitted it would be unable to provide as many doses over to the EU over the coming months as originally promised.
France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian issued a veiled threat to block the export of second doses to the UK, with the country blaming Britain for the fallout.
He said: “The UK is proud to have vaccinated many people with the first dose, but they will have a problem with the second dose.
“And we are fully vaccinated with two doses, not one.”
Mr Johnson has remained calm in the face of the threats.
He has repeatedly warned the EU not to disrupt global supply chains of vaccines while also ruling out the UK taking retaliatory measures.
“I don’t think that blockades, of either vaccines or medicines or ingredients for vaccines are sensible and I think that the long-term damage done by blockades can be very big,” the Prime Minister told MPs last week.
“I would just gently push anybody considering a blockade or interruption of supply chains that companies may look at such actions and draw conclusions about whether or not it is sensible to make future investments in countries where arbitrary blockades are imposed.”
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