WELCOME MESSAGE 2020

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Coronavirus has confronted us with a huge challenge on a global scale. The unprecedented magnitude of the health, humanitarian and economic effects requires an unprecedented measure of cooperation to deal with the pandemic. Numerous experts, engaged in an in-depth exchange of views on this extraordinary challenge at this year’s World Health Summit, are making an enormous contribution towards this. For that I am deeply grateful and I would like to warmly welcome you to Berlin.

The German Government is doing everything in its power to ensure that a safe and effective vaccine can be made available as quickly as possible in Germany, in Europe and around the world. We have provided a substantial level of funding for this. This is not only enabling us to expand the research, development and production capacities in Germany but also to support the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations – an international coalition made up of public and private partners.

Together we must, above all, turn our attention to those countries which have been hit particularly severely by the pandemic – countries with a high population density, extreme poverty and overburdened health systems. People suffering from underlying health problems, hunger or malnutrition as well as those with no access to safe drinking water have a higher risk of becoming infected and seriously ill. Wherever they are in the world – we must not leave them to cope alone.

Germany would like to live up to its international responsibility by adopting a comprehensive and coherent approach. That is why we are cooperating with the WHO, the European Commission and other international partners, among other things to further the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator. The aim of this multilateral platform is not only to develop vaccines but also to ensure their fair distribution as well as that of suitable drugs and diagnostic tests. I will continue to call for the largest possible number of international partners to support this helpful initiative.

Coronavirus knows no borders. The necessary global response must therefore not fail due to national borders. The key to containing and overcoming the pandemic can only be found in international cooperation and coordination. That is why I am deeply grateful to you for contributing your expertise to the World Health Summit, exchanging findings and drawing up recommendations. I wish you all the best, and above all of course, that you stay healthy.