[Ip-health] WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19: pre-launch of the WHO Covid-19 Technolgoy Pool

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Fri May 15 09:29:31 PDT 2020


WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 -
15 May 2020

15 May 2020

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening.

I am honoured to be joined by President Carlos Alvarado Quesada of Costa
Rica and President Sebastián Piñera of Chile for today’s press briefing.

Researchers are working at breakneck speed both to understand the virus and
also to develop potential vaccines, medicines and other technologies.

The Access to COVID-19 Accelerator is uniting efforts on many fronts to
ensure we have safe, effective and affordable therapeutics and vaccines in
the shortest time possible.

These tools provide additional hope of overcoming COVID-19, but they will
not end the pandemic if we cannot ensure equitable access to them.

In these extraordinary circumstances, we need to unleash the full power of
science, to deliver innovations that are scalable, usable, and benefit
everyone, everywhere, at the same time.

Traditional market models will not deliver at the scale needed to cover the
entire globe.

Solidarity within and between countries and the private sector is essential
if we are to overcome these difficult times.

Now is the moment where leaders must come together to develop a new global
access policy and an operational tool, which will turn the many good
intentions expressed in recent weeks into reality.

We are seeing some good examples where companies are coming out with
solidarity approaches – from open licensing and support, to tech transfer
via the new Tech Access Partnership, to commitments not to increase prices
in times of shortages.

WHO recognizes the wide-ranging efforts and initiatives aimed at
incentivizing innovation while also ensuring access for all. These will be
important topics next week at the World Health Assembly.

At the beginning of the pandemic, President Alvarado asked me to set up a
health technology repository for vaccines, medicines, diagnostics and any
other tool that may work against COVID-19.

WHO has accepted this visionary proposal from his excellency President
Alvarado and will, in the next few weeks, launch a platform for open,
collaborative sharing of knowledge, data and intellectual property on
existing and new health tools to combat COVID-19.

So I’m happy to give the floor to our special guest, President Alvarado of
Costa Rica to speak more about his proposal.

You have the floor.


Thank you President Alvarado for that inspiring speech

I have seen your enthusiasm and all my appreciation for your leadership.

I would like to quote you, “let’s show the best of humanity.” I fully agree
and join you in adding my voice to your call. I look forward to joining you
at the May 19th launch.

Muchas Gracias

And now I request President Piñera to take the floor and outline your views
on this initiative

Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International
41 22 791 6727
thiru at keionline.org

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