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June 20, 2021

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, asks 'Global Citizens' to Cooperate more Closely.

Ban Ki-moon, UN, NPC

Photo: The cover of “Resolved: Uniting Nations in a Divided World” by Ban Ki-moon. Columbia University Press.

Ban Ki-moon, UN, NPC

Ban Ki-moon, UN, NPC

Photo: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He discussed the challenges and opportunities that the United Nations faces in its 70th year, from fostering sustainable development and dealing with climate change to confronting violent extremism. He took questions during an hour-long session. At right is John Hughes, President of the National Press Club. April 16, 2015. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe. [File Photo].

Washington, DC, June 18, 2021 — Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a return to multilateral diplomacy and for people to be “global citizens.” He was speaking during a National Press Club Virtual Headliners Book Event on Thursday.

In a discussion coinciding with the release of his new book “Resolved: Uniting Nations in a Divided World,” Ban said global alliances have fractured amid the crises of coronavirus, climate change, and refugees fleeing conflict. He blamed world leaders for not doing enough.

“Why are we not doing more and better? For me, the fault most often lies with the leaders of the world,” Ban said. “Too many autocrats and also dictators put themselves before their countries and before the people who elected them.”

That fracturing of global alliances undermined the world’s response to COVID-19, mainly when the United States chose to withdraw from the World Health Organization, a move Ban called “totally unacceptable.” And he said the wealthiest countries “looked inward first,” meaning an uneven distribution of vaccines.

However, the recent G7 summit in the United Kingdom gave Ban some reasons for optimism as leaders there agreed to share 1 billion doses with poorer countries and reaffirmed their pledge of $100 billion a year for poorer countries to help them fight climate change.

But he criticized the United States, which under the Trump administration, stepped back from the global fight against climate change and withdrew from the Paris climate accord.

“This kind of leadership has shown no concern to the people, and it is only the people on the ground who will suffer,” Ban said. “This is what I found heartbreaking.”

And he said the UN could do more to help, especially in Syria, which has struggled for a decade amid civil war and a humanitarian crisis. Instead, Ban said, it is paralyzed and unable to “deliver timely, effective, and powerful messages or actions because of the divisions among the Security Council members, particularly veto-power members.”

Multilateralism has borne good work in recent years, Ban said, especially in getting 196 signatories for the Paris climate accord and adopting the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. But he said there is “so much work ahead,” not only in fighting climate change but also promoting peace in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Israel, and elsewhere.

Ban served as UN Secretary-General from January 2007 to December 2016. His tenure coincided with numerous incidents, including the Arab Spring, nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea, the Ebola epidemic, and brutal new conflicts in Central Africa.

Ban, who served as a South Korean diplomat and foreign minister before becoming the UN’s eighth Secretary-General, said his home country showed what is possible. Ban recalled being raised during the Korean War, then coming of age and watching the country grow from a dictatorship to a “stable and prosperous democracy.”

“Without the United Nations, Korea would not be as it is today,” Ban said.

Resolved is Ban Ki-moon’s account of his decade at the organization’s helm during a period of historical turmoil and promise. Meeting challenges and resistance with a belief in the UN’s peacekeeping mission, development, and human rights, he steered the United Nations through a volatile period. As secretary-general, Ban also forged global agreements to fight extreme poverty and address the climate crisis.

Ban performed what has been called “the impossible job on this earth” with a genuine belief in collective action and global transformation. Freed from the diplomatic constraints of a lifetime of public service, he offers a candid assessment of the people and events that shape this era and a bracing analysis of what lies ahead.

The one-hour program streamed live on the National Press Club’s website and YouTube Channel. Thus, it was accessible to both the media and members of the general public.

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the “World’s Leading Professional Organization for Journalists.” The Club has about 3,000 reporters, editors, and professional communicators worldwide, representing nearly every major news organization. It hosts almost 2,000 events per year in its 54,000 square foot facility located in downtown Washington, just three blocks from the White House.

Source: National Press Club, Washington, DC


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June 16, 2021

Summary of Carbis Bay G7 Summit Communique

G7 Cornwall Summit

Photo: Setting up the US press conference during the G7 Summit at Newquay airport, Cornwall, UK, on 13th June 2021. Image provided by & copyright © Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021.


• Our Shared Agenda for Global Action to Build Back Better

We, the Group of Seven leaders, met in Cornwall on 11-13 June 2021, determined to beat COVID-19 and build back better. We remembered everyone who has been lost to the pandemic and paid tribute to those still striving to overcome it. Inspired by their example of collaboration and determination, we gathered united by the principle that brought us together initially, that shared beliefs and shared responsibilities are the bedrock of leadership and prosperity. Guided by this, our enduring ideals as free open societies and democracies, and by our commitment to multilateralism, we have agreed on a shared G7 agenda for global action to:

We shall seek to advance this open agenda in collaboration with other countries and within the multilateral rules-based system. In particular, we look forward to working alongside our G20 partners and with all relevant International Organisations to secure a cleaner, greener, freer, fairer and safer future for our people and planet.


Source: G7 SUMMIT 2021

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June 12, 2021

G7 Cornwall Summit — Summit Meeting Agenda

G7 Summit

Photo: United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds, United States of America President Joe Biden and Jill Biden pose for the official family picture at Carbis Bay hotel during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK, on the 11 June 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © Justin Goff/G7 Cornwall 2021.

G7 Summit

Photo: G7 Leaders Plenary Session at G7 Leaders’ Plenary Room, Carbis Bay, during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK, on 11 June 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021.

G7 Summit

Photo: Boris Johnson and wife Carrie at Carbis Bay hotel during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK on 11 June 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © David Fisher/G7 Cornwall 2021.

G7 Summit

Photo: G7 Leaders’ Family Photo. (Back row L to R) EU Council President of the European Council Charles Michel, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, (Front row L to R) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, United States of America President Joe Biden, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose for the official family picture at Carbis Bay hotel during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK on 11 June 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © G7 Cornwall 2021.

• G7 Cornwall Summit — Summit Meeting Agenda

• Friday 11 June

• Saturday 12 June

• Sunday 13 June

International Organisations participating virtually: International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Bank Group, World Health Organisation, and World Trade Organisation.

Source: G7 UK 2021

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June 2, 2021

New US$50 Billion Health, Trade, and Finance Roadmap to End the Pandemic and Secure a Global Recovery

International Monetary Fund

Photo: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva meets with Odile Renaud-Basso, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), at the IMF Paris Office. May 17, 2021. Paris, France. IMF Photo/Cyril Marcilhacy.

International Monetary Fund

Photo: A doctor holds a syringe containing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Howard University Hospital. March 12, 2021. Washington, DC, United States. IMF Photo/Joshua Roberts.

Geneva/Washington, DC, June 1, 2021 — The heads of the world’s predominant global financing, health and trade agencies have united in urging government leaders to urgently finance a new US$50 billion roadmap to accelerate the equitable distribution of health tools. It would help end the pandemic that has devastated lives and livelihoods for 18 months. It would also set the foundations for a genuinely global recovery, as well as enhanced health security.

The leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organization, and World Trade Organization [Kristalina Georgieva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, David Malpass, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala] have issued a joint statement. They say the governments must act without further delay or risk continued waves and explosive outbreaks of COVID-19 and more transmissible and deadly virus variants undermining the global recovery.

Leaders of the four agencies said: “By now, it has become abundantly clear there will be no broad-based recovery without an end to the health crisis. Access to vaccination is key to both.”

The joint statement draws on a recent IMF staff analysis, which stated that US$50 billion in new investment is needed to increase manufacturing capacity, supply, trade flows, and delivery, which would accelerate the equitable distribution of diagnostics, oxygen, treatments, medical supplies, and vaccines. This injection would also give a significant boost to economic growth around the world.

“At an estimated US$50 billion, it will bring the pandemic to an end faster in the developing world, reduce infections and loss of lives, accelerate the economic recovery, and generate some US$9 trillion in additional global output by 2025, “said the leaders.

It echoes economic analysis by the International Chamber of Commerce and the Eurasia Group - both of which make a case for a relatively modest investment by governments compared to the trillions spent on national stimulus plans and lost trillions in foregone economic output. But the critical element of this is that it effectively spurs global vaccination and bridges the equity gap.

“Increasing our ambition and vaccinating more people faster: WHO and its COVAX partners have set a goal of vaccinating approximately 30% of the population in all countries by the end of 2021,” said the four leaders. “But this can reach even 40% through other agreements and surge investment, and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022.”

The leaders have urged the governments to act on the investment opportunity to boost vaccines, oxygen, tests, and treatment supplies. The IMF, WBG, WHO, and WTO chiefs issued their joint statement as the World Health Assembly drew to a conclusion.

“To urgently get more shots in arms, doses need to be donated immediately to developing countries synchronized with national vaccine deployment plans, including through COVAX,” said the four leaders. “Cooperation on trade is also needed to ensure free cross-border flows and increasing supplies of raw materials and finished vaccines.”

The IMF, WBG, WHO, and WTO leaders would address a joint press conference later today to outline the new joint roadmap to ending the pandemic and driving the genuinely global and fast recovery.

Sources: IMF, WHO, WB, WTO


nternational Monetary Fund

Photo: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva walks back to IMF HQ following her interview with the BBC’s Katty Kay. April 7, 2021. Washington, DC, United States. IMF Photo/Cory Hancock.

Following is the Joint Statement by Kristalina Georgieva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, David Malpass, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala:


— Kristalina Georgieva is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF); Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO); David Malpass is the President of the World Bank Group; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

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May 23, 2021

IMF (International Monetary Fund) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva addresses the Global Health Forum in Italy, Announces $50 Billion Proposal to End the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Photo: IMF (International Monetary Fund) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Washington, DC, United States. IMF Photo/Cory Hancock. Image provided by & copyright © IMF.

• IMF (International Monetary Fund) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva’s Remarks to the Global Health Summit, organized by the European Commission and Italy, as chair of the G20. May 21, 2021.

Source: International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international financial institution headquartered in Washington, D.C. It consists of 190 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty worldwide.

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May 22, 2021

WHO Director−General's speech on Global Health Summit − Italian G20 Presidency and the European Commission − 21 May 2021.

World Health Organization

Photo: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). Image provided by & copyright © WHO.

• The WHO Director−General’s speech on Global Health Summit − Italian G20 Presidency and the European Commission − 21 May 2021:

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

• The World Health Organization is a specialized United Nations agency responsible for international public health. WHO’s primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations’ system and lead partners in global health responses.

• The Global Health Summit took place in Rome on Friday, 21 May. Italy organized this G20 event in partnership with the European Commission.

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May 20, 2021

United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) asks Companies Worldwide to Tackle Road Safety Crisis.


UNITAR, Geneva


Photo: Participants at a UNITAR International Training Program in Geneva. Image Credit: UNITAR.

UNITAR, Traffic

Photo: Traffic Lights. Image Credit: Víctor Villamarín.



NEW YORK, May 19, 2021 — The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) collaborates with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) in a joint effort to curb road traffic fatalities in recognition of the United Nations Road Safety Week (May 17-23, 2021).

UNITAR has asked companies and public entities worldwide to download and implement its “Management Practices for Safer Roads Toolkit.” The Toolkit provides government officials, road engineers, and urban planners with a proven methodology and evidence-based solutions to address road safety issues in their communities.

The Toolkit is accessible via desktop on UNITAR’s website or as a Learning App in the Play Store and App Store for Android and iOS devices. UNITAR is also providing dedicated training workshops to assist governments in utilizing the Toolkit and designing their action plans to support road safety.

The Toolkit and its app provide practical solutions to improve existing road infrastructure to benefit all road users. Among its features, the app provides a checklist to support users in monitoring their Road Safety management progress throughout the different stages of the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” Toolkit’s methodology. This week, the partnership hosted a virtual workshop with public officials in South Africa to exhibit how to best apply the Toolkit to existing faults in the country’s roads.

“We hope that this Toolkit and Learning App serve as a substantive contribution to advance our shared goal of making cities safe, resilient, and sustainable,” said Dr. Deisi Kuztra, member of the Board of Trustees for UNITAR. “The Agenda 2030 reminds us of the urgency to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, thus improving road safety with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, including women, children, persons with disabilities, and older persons,” she emphasized.

For Road Safety Week 2021, celebrated on May 17-23, the United Nations has called on policymakers globally to take action in favor of low-speed streets worldwide, limiting speeds to 30 km/h (20mph) in residential areas. The knowledge and materials available in the Toolkit provide governments with a clear framework for practical speed limitations and black spot management, among others.

“As part of our tremendous efforts to expand the accessibility of this Toolkit, we have now made it available in 6 languages, including English, Spanish, French, Hindi, Portuguese, and most recently in Italian. We hope it will greatly benefit the organizations and governments working to make a positive impact toward improving road safety,” said Catalina Garcia, Global Director of Corporate Affairs at AB InBev. “The app’s methodology has been continuously tested and improved upon through several local projects in countries like Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, India, Mexico, and South Africa. We are certain that its adoption will continue to lead to positive results and save more lives, and especially now that it’s readily available on any mobile device.”

Road traffic-related deaths and injuries have unparalleled health and socioeconomic implications for society, particularly in areas with high death and injury rates. According to the latest report by the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.35 million people die on the world’s roads every year, and up to 50 million more are left injured or disabled, a majority of whom are young breadwinners between the ages of 15 and 29. Because of this, the United Nations has set the ambitious goal of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 percent by the year 2030 as part of its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UNITAR and AB InBev’s new app draws from AB InBev’s methodology, collecting data on the number and location of deaths by road user type. It relies on management routines, identifying hazardous and critical road locations where excessive numbers or severity of crashes occur, outlining corrective measures, and implementing and monitoring the appropriate interventions.

The “Management Practices for Safer Roads” mobile app in English is available for free from the App Store for iOS users and the Play Store for all Android devices.

The alliance between UNITAR and AB InBev, through the Partnership for Action on Road Safety, seeks to educate and inform on the importance of road safety. It also facilitates the exchange of experiences and best practices resulting in a long-term collaboration within different factors in society to generate concrete measures that improve mobility and road safety globally and ultimately save lives.

The partnership’s key objectives are:

The alliance also seeks to develop projects on road safety that incentivize taking measures that reduce the various risk factors, such as exceeding the speed limit and irresponsible driving, and the vehicle and road infrastructure design. The initiative intends to socialize this methodology of road safety with governments worldwide and support them in designing and implementing local solutions.

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) provides innovative learning solutions to individuals, organizations, and institutions to enhance global decision-making and support country-level action for shaping a better future. UNITAR was created in 1963 to train and equip young diplomats from newly independent UN Member States with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate through the diplomatic environment. Over the years, UNITAR has acquired unique expertise and experience in designing and delivering various training activities. It has become a leading institute in providing customized and creative learning solutions to institutions and individuals from both the public and private sectors. With a strategy fully focused on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UNITAR supports Governments to implement the 2030 Agenda.

Source: United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)


Higher Education, Traffic Control StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

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May 4, 2021

International Jazz Day 2021 Concludes with Spectacular All-Star Global Concert Featuring Performances from Cities Across the Globe

Hosted by Michael Douglas at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Concert Caps Extraordinary 10th Anniversary Celebration Spanning More than 190 Countries.

International Jazz Day 2021

Photo: A Jazz Day Poster.

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2021 — With more than 190 countries participating, the International Jazz Day 10th Anniversary celebration concluded with a thrilling All-Star Global Concert reaching millions worldwide. Hosted by Michael Douglas and led by Herbie Hancock and musical director John Beasley, the concert brought together renowned artists from over 20 countries. It was made possible by Lead Partner Toyota, with United Airlines serving as Airline Partner.

The 2021 Global Concert featured memorable moments illustrating the unifying power of jazz. From New York, Veronica Swift and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen opened the program with “Sing,” an uplifting tribute to the positive change that music can bring to the world. Other standout performances included pianist and composer Jacob Collier in London, Beninese songstress Angélique Kidjo in Paris, Japanese pianist Junko Onishi in Tokyo, Ivan Lins in Rio De Janeiro, and vocalist/trumpeter Mandisi Dyantyis in Cape Town. Capping the remarkable presentation from Los Angeles was a sensational interpretation of “God Bless The Child” by vocalist Andra Day.

Anchored by Academy Award winner Michael Douglas from UN Headquarters in New York, the 2021 concert showcased jazz as a truly global art form. As United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted, “Ten years ago, we launched the very first International Jazz Day in the United Nations General Assembly Hall at the initiative of UNESCO and the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz. With every passing year, this has been a joyous celebration - not only of music but also of freedom, diversity, and human dignity. These are the values the United Nations works to protect and promote around the world.”

UNESCO and the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz presented free educational and outreach programming throughout the day. In one of the most anticipated events, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock engaged in a moving dialogue on the history and legacy of International Jazz Day.

International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities on all seven continents to honor the international art form of jazz. The event is celebrated with thousands of concerts and jazz-related programming worldwide each year on April 30, highlighting its essential role in encouraging dialogue, combating discrimination, and promoting human dignity.

Source: Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz

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April 30, 2021

World Intellectual Property Day 2021 - "IP and SMEs: Taking Your Ideas to Market"

World Intellectual Property

Geneva, April 29, 2021 — Small and medium-sized enterprises take center stage at this year’s celebration of World Intellectual Property Day. WIPO Director General Daren Tang described them as the “unsung heroes” of the global economy and an engine for growth in a post-pandemic world.

In a video message celebrating World IP Day, which occurs each April 26, Mr. Tang said that SMEs account for 90% of all companies worldwide and 70% of global employment. That’s why World IP Day 2021 is carrying the theme “IP and SMEs: Taking your ideas to market.”

“SMEs are the engines, the unsung heroes of our economy. And yet for many of them, there is still a lack of knowledge about how IP can help them translate their ideas into products, and how IP can be a powerful tool for them not just to survive, but also to compete and grow,” he said.

“SMEs face different challenges in different parts of the world, and how we help them will need to be customized to the needs of your part of the world. But it will be a powerful message for us to send the signal that together we will be supporting them,” said Mr. Tang.

Mr. Tang, who took office as WIPO’s Director-General in October 2020, has made supporting smaller enterprises a priority. In one of his first actions as Director-General, he established the “IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector” as one of the Organization’s eight sectors, with a remit to support SMEs, entrepreneurs, and researchers in commercializing IP and using it for business growth.

“Whatever help we can render to our SMEs will help that we render to the bedrock of your economy and the backbone of the global economy. Ultimately, it will help our world to build back better,” after the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

WIPO is coordinating a global campaign to highlight the importance of intangible assets to SMEs and the value of IP in supporting SMEs to grow. The Organization has published a series of case studies worldwide telling stories of SMEs that are using IP rights to turn ideas into business opportunities and generate value. WIPO has also provided a wealth of practical information on the best ways for SMEs to protect their intangible assets.

In 2000, WIPO’s member states designated April 26 - the day on which the WIPO Convention came into force in 1970 - as World Intellectual Property Day to increase general understanding of intellectual property (IP). Since then, World IP Day has offered a unique opportunity each year to join with others worldwide to consider how IP contributes to the flourishing of music and the arts and to driving the technological innovation that helps shape our world.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information, and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it offers free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.

Source: WIPO, Geneva


(The Editor is an Alumnus of the World Intellectual Property Organization Academy (WIPO Academy), Geneva, Switzerland.) StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

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April 22, 2021

UNESCO, Herbie Hancock, and a cast of Jazz greats to mark the 10th Anniversary of International Jazz Day on April 30.

Jazz Day 2021, UNESCO

Photos: Jazz Day Posters from different countries.

Paris, France, April 22, 2021 — UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock have announced the program for the 10th-anniversary edition of International Jazz Day, with an inspiring series of performances and educational and community outreach initiatives in more than 190 countries.

Hosted by multi-Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas, the 2021 All-Star Global Concert will be streamed live from UNESCO in Paris and the United Nations in New York with a lineup of some of the best international artists performing from cities around the world. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres will speak during the concert. Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock will be the concert’s artistic director, while John Beasley will serve as the concert’s musical director.

“UNESCO created International Jazz Day to share the values of a significant musical genre. Today we need Jazz more than ever. We need its values based on human dignity and the fight against racism and all forms of oppression. It is so much more than music. Jazz is the kind of bridge-builder we need in the world today,” said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, in her message.

“Our International Jazz Day community has displayed incredible resilience, creativity, ingenuity, and compassion throughout the immense challenges of the past year. While the global pandemic continues to make life difficult for so many around the world, the example of organizers from Nepal to Mexico to Cameroon inspires us to greet this historic 10th-anniversary milestone with joy, courage, and hope for the future of Jazz,” Herbie Hancock stated.

The All-Star Global Concert will mark the culmination of International Jazz Day 2021, starting at 9 pm UTC in New York, with performances by:

In Los Angeles, Herbie Hancock will be joined by:

Leading musicians performing from their home countries will be Igor Butman in Moscow (Russia), Ivan Lins in Rio De Janeiro (Brazil), John McLaughlin in Monaco, James Morrison in Mt. Gambier (Australia), Junko Onishi in Tokyo (Japan), and Jacob Collier in London (United Kingdom) and more.

In parallel, an array of virtual and socially distanced activities will occur across the globe on April 30 and in the days leading up to International Jazz Day. Independent artists, UNESCO Creative Cities of Music, and organizers worldwide have curated thousands of concerts, webinars, radio broadcasts, charity fundraisers, marathon jam sessions, educational workshops, art exhibitions, and more adhering to recommended public health guidelines.

YouTube, Facebook,, U.N. Web T.V., UNESCO, and U.S. State Department outlets would webcast the April 30 program live.

UNESCO established international Jazz Day in 2011 at the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock. The United Nations General Assembly recognizes it. The day brings together countries and communities worldwide every April 30 to celebrate the international art form of Jazz. Jazz Day highlights Jazz’s essential role in encouraging dialogue, combating discrimination, and promoting human dignity. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is UNESCO’s partner in the organization and promotion of International Jazz Day.

Source: UNESCO

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April 6, 2021

IMF announces World Economic Outlook April 2021 Forecast

IMF, Gopinath

Photo: Chief Economist Gita Gopinath poses before giving the World Economic Outlook during the 2021 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund. April 6, 2021. Washington, DC, United States. IMF Photo/Joshua Roberts.

Washington, DC, April 6, 2021 — The IMF announced an upgrade to global growth in its World Economic Outlook on Tuesday (April 6) in Washington, DC.

IMF has projected that the global economy would grow at 6 percent in 2021, moderating to 4.4 percent in 2022. A significant turnaround from an estimated contraction of -3.3 percent in 2020 when a pandemic hit the world.

“So relative to our January forecast, we are upgrading growth to 6% for 2021 and 4.4% for 2022. It reflects the additional financial support provided in the United States and the vaccination efforts that will strengthen recovery in the second half of this year. It also reflects the continued resilience of economic activity to the pandemic in many parts of the world,” said IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath.

Gopinath stressed that a high degree of uncertainty surrounds the IMF’s projections as the pandemic is yet to be defeated and virus cases are accelerating in many countries.

That’s leading to diverging recoveries both across and within countries, as economies with slower vaccine rollout, more limited policy support, and more reliant on tourism do less well.

“The biggest risk right now is still the pandemic. If there are new virus variants that evade the vaccine, it could lead to a sharp downgrade. But if, on the other hand, there’s the faster rollout of vaccinations, then that could uplift the outlook,” said Gopinath.

She also added that multispeed recoveries could pose financial risks if interest rates in the United States rise further in unexpected ways. It could cause inflated asset valuations to unwind in a disorderly manner, economic conditions to tighten sharply, and recovery prospects to deteriorate, especially for some highly leveraged emerging markets and developing economies.

“The second big risk is to financial conditions. We see multispeed recoveries, and we have seen interest rates go up. If interest rates go up even further in a more disorderly fashion than that could have negative implications for several countries, especially for some highly vulnerable emerging and developing economies,” said Gopinath.

Policymakers will need to continue supporting their economies while dealing with more limited policy space and higher debt levels than before the pandemic, Gopinath added. It requires better-targeted measures to leave room for prolonged support if needed.

“Given that we are not out of the woods, it is crucial for policy support to be continued in this crisis. Of course, countries are dealing with high debt levels, so they’ll have to make sure this support is better targeted and well-tailored to countries’ specific economic conditions, the stage of the recovery they are in, and the structural characteristics of the economy,” she added.

She also urged central banks to keep access to money open in the current environment.

“Monetary policy should also remain accommodative while proactively addressing financial risks of using macroprudential tools,” Gopinath remarked.


Source: IMF

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March 26, 2021

WHO, ICAO, ILO, IMO, and IOM issue Joint Statement on prioritization of COVID-19 Vaccination for Seafarers and Aircrew


Photo: Airbus Aircalin A320neo on ferry flight. Image provided by & copyright © AIRBUS.

WHO, Ship

Photo: Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas in Bar Harbor, Maine. Image Credit: Corey Seeman.

• Joint Statement from International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and World Health Organization (WHO) •

Geneva, March 25, 2021.

Source: WHO

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March 17, 2021

UNESCO Creative Cities Network — Call for Applications 2021

UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Photo: Berlin. Watch-traffic lights. Berlin is a UNESCO Creative City of Design. Image credit: Aleksander Markin.

UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Photo: Gateway of India, Mumbai. Mumbai is a UNESCO Creative City of Film. Image credit: barracuadz.

UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Photo: Downtown Detroit, Michigan. Detroit is a UNESCO Creative City of Design. Image credit: Corey Seeman.

Created in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) fosters international cooperation across cities of the world that invest in culture and creativity as accelerators of sustainable development.

Through seven creative fields - Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, and Music - cities in the Network are innovative with an enormous scope of positive economic, social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

Together with its 246 member cities from over 80 countries, the UCCN aims to fulfill the enabling and transformative power of culture and creativity in building resilient, sustainable, and future-proof cities. It thus supports the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the local level.

• The UCCN Call for Applications is now open to cities from all UNESCO Member States and Associate Members.

The member cities represent the following seven creative fields:

UNESCO’s Director-General would designate the new creative cities after an internal technical pre-screening and an external evaluation.

Source: UNESCO


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March 13, 2021

WHO adds Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine to the list of safe and effective emergency tools against COVID−19.

Johnson & Johnson

Who, Vaccine

Geneva, March 12, 2021 - The World Health Organization (WHO) today listed the COVID-19 vaccine Ad26.COV2.S, developed by Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), for emergency use in all countries and COVAX roll-out. The decision comes on the back of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorization, announced yesterday.

“Every new, safe and effective tool against COVID-19 is another step closer to controlling the pandemic,” said WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “But the hope offered by these tools will not materialize unless they are made available to all people in all countries. I urge governments and companies to live up to their commitments and to use all solutions at their disposal to ramp up production so that these tools become truly global public goods, available and affordable to all, and a shared solution to the global crisis.

The vaccine from Janssen is the first to be listed by WHO as a single dose regimen, facilitating vaccination logistics in all countries. The company’s comprehensive data from large clinical trials shows that the vaccine is effective in those 18 years of age and older.

To expedite the vaccine’s listing, WHO and a team of assessors from all regions adopted an ‘abbreviated assessment’ based on outcomes of the EMA review and evaluation of quality, safety, and efficacy data focused on low- and the middle-income country needs. The WHO assessment also considered suitability requirements such as cold chain storage and risk management plans.

While the vaccine needs storage at -20 degrees, which may prove challenging in some environments, we can keep it for three months at 2-8°C, and it has a long shelf life of two years.

Next week, WHO will convene its Strategic Advisory Group on Immunization Experts to formulate recommendations on using the vaccine. In the meantime, WHO continues to work with countries and COVAX partners to prepare for roll-out and safety monitoring. The COVAX Facility has booked 500 million doses of the vaccine.

• WHO emergency use listing

The emergency use listing (EUL) procedure assesses novel health products’ suitability during public health emergencies. The objective is to make medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics available as rapidly as possible to address the crisis while adhering to stringent criteria of safety, efficacy, and quality. The assessment weighs the threat posed by the emergency and the benefit that would accrue from using the product against any potential risks.

The EUL pathway involves a rigorous assessment of late phase-II and phase-III clinical trial data and substantial additional data on safety, efficacy, quality, and a risk management plan. Independent experts and WHO teams review this data, consider the current body of evidence on the vaccine under consideration, monitor its use, and plan further studies.

As part of the EUL process, the company producing the vaccine must generate data to enable full licensure and WHO prequalification. The WHO prequalification process will assess additional clinical data generated from vaccine trials and deployment on a rolling basis to ensure the immunization meets the necessary standards of quality, safety, and efficacy for broader availability.

WHO has also listed the Pfizer/BioNTech, Astrazeneca-SK Bio, and Serum Institute of India vaccines for emergency use.

Source: WHO

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March 8, 2021

UNESCO Prize for Girls' and Women's Education invites Nominations.

International Women's Day, UNESCO

Photo: UNESCO Headquarters, Paris. Commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the OECD Convention. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX. [File Photo]

International Women's Day, UNESCO

Photo: Scenes from the United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day 2020, held in the UN General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters in New York on 6 March 2020. Image provided by & copyright © UN Women/Ryan Brown. [File Photo]

Paris, France, March 8, 2021 — On International Women’s Day, UNESCO launched the call for nominations for the 2021 UNESCO Award for Girls’ and Women’s Education. The Prize awards US$ 50,000 annually to two laureates making outstanding efforts in favor of girls’ and women’s education.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in a context where girls and women have been disproportionately impacted by nationwide school closures, ensuring that girls and women continue learning must be a priority. UNESCO estimates that over 11 million girls and young women may not return to school following the pandemic’s impact. About 128 million girls were already out of school before the pandemic, UNESCO said.

The Prize is more significant in these challenging times than ever before. Highlighting innovations that can help us foster an equal future is key to responding to global challenges around girls’ and women’s education, UNESCO added.


Source: UNESCO

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February 17, 2021

Switzerland Climbs to Top of Global E-Commerce Index

Switzerland replaced the Netherlands at the top of UNCTAD’s Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2020, which ranks 152 countries on their readiness to engage in online commerce.

Unctad, Switzerland

Photo: Switzerland. Swiss cows: Image credit: Nestlé.

Unctad, Switzerland

Photo: Switzerland. Image credit: Eugene Kaspersky.

Geneva, 17 February 2021 - Europe remains by far the most prepared region for e-commerce, according to UNCTAD’s Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2020.

For the first time, Switzerland leads the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index, just ahead of the Netherlands. In 2019, 97% of the Swiss population used the internet. The only non-European economies among the top 10 are Singapore, ranked fourth, and Hong Kong (China) in the 10th position.

The index scores 152 nations on their readiness for online shopping, worth an estimated $4.4 trillion globally in 2018, up 7% from the previous year.

Countries are scored on access to secure internet servers, reliability of postal services and infrastructure, and the portion of their population that uses the internet and has an account with a financial institution or mobile money services provider.

• Developing countries: Asia leads the pack.

The ten developing countries with the highest scores are all from Asia and classified as high-income or upper-middle-income economies.

At the other end of the spectrum, least developed countries occupy 18 of the bottom 20 positions.

The two largest B2C e-commerce markets globally, China and the United States, rank 55th and 12th respectively in the index. Although both countries lead in several absolute measures, they lag in relative comparisons.

“The e-commerce divide remains huge,” said Shamika N. Sirimanne, director of UNCTAD’s division that prepares the annual index. “Even among G20 countries, the extent to which people shop online ranges from 3% in India to 87% in the United Kingdom.”

Also, in Canada, the United States, and 10 European nations, more than 70% of the adult population makes purchases online. But that proportion is well below 10% in most low- and lower-middle-income countries.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more urgent to ensure the countries trailing behind can catch up and strengthen their e-trade readiness,” Ms. Sirimanne said. The index, she said, underscores governments’ need to ensure more people can avail themselves of e-commerce opportunities.

“Otherwise, their businesses and people will miss out on the opportunities offered by the digital economy, and they will be less prepared to deal with various challenges,” she added.

• Changes in the 2020 rankings

The 2020 edition of the index includes a few notable changes from the previous year. In the composition of the top 10 positions, Hong Kong (China) replaced Australia. Among the top 10 developing economies, Oman replaced Turkey.

The four most considerable increases in index scores are in developing countries - Algeria, Brazil, Ghana, and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Their scores surged by at least five points, primarily due to significant improvements in postal reliability.

Costa Rica became the best performer in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, replacing Chile. Mauritius remained the highest scorer in sub-Saharan Africa, while Belarus again got the highest score among transition economies.

• Particular focus on Latin America and the Caribbean

The 2020 index takes a closer look at the LAC region, which accounts for 9% of the world’s population aged 15 and older and as much as 11% of the world’s internet users. However, the region’s share of global online shoppers was only 6% of the worldwide total in 2019.

The UNCTAD report notes that five countries account for 92% of online shoppers in LAC, much higher than their share (72%) of the region’s population. Postal unreliability is the region’s most prominent e-commerce infrastructural weakness, particularly in the Caribbean.

As seen globally, COVID-19 has boosted online shopping in the region. For example, 7.3 million Brazilians shopped online for the first time during the pandemic. And in Argentina, the number of first-time online buyers during the pandemic was equivalent to 30% of the 2019 online shopping base.

• Top 10 economies in the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index 2020

  1. Switzerland
  2. Netherlands
  3. Denmark
  4. Singapore
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Germany
  7. Finland
  8. Ireland
  9. Norway
  10. China, Hong Kong SAR

Source: UNCTAD

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February 3, 2021

IMF World Economic Outlook Update


Photo: International Monetary Fund. World Economic Outlook Update. Economic Counselor and Director of the Research Department, Gita Gopinath, delivers the World Economic Outlook at the IMF headquarters. IMF Photo/Joshua Roberts. January 26, 2021. Washington, DC, United States of America.


Photo: International Monetary Fund. Snow in Washington, DC. Pedestrians walk past the International Monetary Fund’s HQ1 and HQ2 buildings during the season’s first snow in Washington, DC. IMF Photo/Cory Hancock. December 16, 2020. Washington, DC, United States of America.

Washington, DC, January 31, 2021 / — Global growth is getting an upgrade. However, prospects for recovery are still highly uncertain due to the race between rolling out vaccines and mutations to COVID-19, the IMF says in its latest quarterly update to the World Economic Outlook report (January 20).

“We are living in highly uncertain times. We are projecting the world would grow this year instead of a severe collapse last year, but there is uncertainty. A lot depends upon the outcome of this race between a mutating virus and vaccines and how much policy support can hold up,” IMF Head of Research Gita Gopinath told reporters in a virtual briefing.

The IMF forecasts a 5.5% boost in growth in 2021, after a 3.3% drop in 2020 - the most severe hit to the global economy since the Great Depression.

But not all countries and regions are growing at the same pace, the IMF says.

The global recovery looks uneven, and the Covid-19 crisis won’t be over for anyone until it gets solved for everyone, Gopinath said. Countries need to cooperate and share resources to ensure an equitable and rapid distribution of the vaccine.

“The international community must act quickly to make sure that vaccinations and the logistics of delivery of the vaccine vaccinations are available globally to address what is currently a deeply inequitable distribution of access to vaccines across the world,” the IMF’s chief economist added.

“The health and economic arguments for this are just simply overwhelming. The new virus strain says, as we have made abundantly clear, that the pandemic is not over until it’s over everywhere. And we estimate there the benefit of more rapid progress towards ending the health crisis. It will add nine trillion dollars cumulatively to the global economy between 2020 and 2025, with benefits for all countries, including advanced economies of around four trillion dollars,” said Gopinath.

The IMF recommends that countries with fiscal space continue to use those resources to support those people and companies in need of help in the crisis.

One example many are watching: the Biden Administration and Democrat’s proposed $1.9 trillion support package could significantly boost growth. However, Gopinath said it was early days to assess its impact.

“For the U.S. economy, we have this can raise output, incomes or output in the U.S. by five percent over three years. That’s what we have estimated, including increasing growth this year by one and a quarter percent. But again, to be very clear, this is all still preliminary,” added Gopinath.

Source: IMF

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February 2, 2021

FIFA and WHO #ACTogether to tackle COVID−19

Star footballers, competing team captains will promote equitable global access to vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics.



Photos: FIFA and WHO #ACTogether to tackle COVID−19. Images provided by & copyright © FIFA.

Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, February 01, 2021 — FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is teaming up with WHO (World Health Organization) to promote the need for fair access to COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. FIFA will encourage people to keep practicing life-saving, simple public health measures to prevent the coronavirus spread and protect health.

In conjunction with the FIFA Club World Cup 2020, being held in Qatar from 4 to February 11, 2021, FIFA and WHO are launching a public awareness campaign involving star footballers through TV and in-stadium messaging to further promote the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator initiative launched in April 2020, and to urge people to practice mask-wearing, physical distancing and hand hygiene.

“We all have to play our part in the battle against the coronavirus. We are also calling on the international community to #ACTogether to ensure a level playing field about access to vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests across the globe,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said during a video conference before the kick-off of the FIFA Club World Cup.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, thanked FIFA and the players for helping raise awareness on life-saving interventions that all people can follow. FIFA would bring out the importance of intensified global support for the ACT Accelerator to ramp up development and equitable allocation of vaccines, treatments, and tests to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“Fairness is the foundation of football and all other sports, and this also must be the same when it comes to health,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “The rules of the COVID-19 challenge are simple: all people at risk from the coronavirus in all countries must have equitable access to life-saving vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. In just nine months, the world has established these three powerful lines of defense against COVID-19. But our goal now is to ensure equitable access and continued refinement of these tools.”

Dr. Tedros added: “WHO is grateful to FIFA for teaming up with health partners worldwide to promote the need for the fair distribution of the tools needed to defeat the coronavirus.”

The new FIFA-WHO collaboration will amplify life-saving messages to a global audience with a series of promotional videos broadcast during the FIFA Club World Cup. In the videos, competing club captains reiterate the critical steps for everyone to follow to tackle and defeat the coronavirus by focusing on hands, elbow, face, distance, symptoms, masks, and opening windows.

“We mustn’t forget that health comes first,” said the FIFA President. “Only by following the advice of our medical professionals will we be able to eliminate the threat posed by COVID-19, and I call upon everyone to follow these steps in their daily lives. This advice not only protects you but also protects your loved ones and those around you. In delivering these messages during the FIFA Club World Cup, I appreciate the support given by the participating teams and their players, coaching staff, and other officials in respecting the tournament protocols and ensuring that we keep the football flame flickering brightly during these challenging times.”

The video awareness campaign will feature players and head coaches from the competing teams at the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 and FIFA Legends. It will get published on various FIFA, WHO, and digital channels, through broadcasters worldwide.

Sources: FIFA / WHO

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January 25, 2021

UNCTAD Global Investment Trends Monitor: Global Investment down 42% in 2020, Further Weakness expected in 2021.

UNCTAD has published its 38th Global Investment Trends Monitor.

UNCTAD, Geneva

Photo: Mia Mikic, speaking at UNCTAD’s Non-tariff Measures Week, held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. 14 October 2019. Photo: Tim Sullivan (UNCTAD).

UNCTAD, Geneva

Photo: James Zhan, director of UNCTAD’s division on investment and enterprise. Speaking at the UNCTAD Investment and Enterprise Commission on 11 November 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: Tim Sullivan (UNCTAD).

UNCTAD, Geneva

Photo: UNCTAD Debt Management Conference. UNCTAD held its 12th Debt Management Conference at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 18 to 20 November 2019. Photo: Jean-Philippe Escard (UNCTAD).

UNCTAD, Geneva

Photo: UNCTAD Centres of Excellence workshop. UNCTAD held its annual Centers of Excellence strategic meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. 29 October 2019. UNCTAD Centers of Excellence serve as network hubs for capacity building in the African and Asian regions. Photo: Tim Sullivan (UNCTAD).

Geneva, 25 January 2020 - Global foreign direct investment collapsed in 2020, falling by 42% to an estimated $859 billion from $1.5 trillion in 2019. FDI finished 2020, more than 30% below the trough after the global financial crisis in 2009 and back at a level last seen in the 1990s.

The decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI flows fell by 69% to an estimated $229 billion. Flows to Europe dried up entirely to -4 billion, including large negative flows in several countries. The United States recorded a sharp decrease (-49%) to $134 billion.

The relative decline in developing economies was -12% to an estimated $616 billion. The share of developing economies in global FDI reached 72% - the highest percentage on record. China topped the ranking of the largest FDI recipients.

The fall in FDI flows across developing regions was uneven, with -37% in Latin America and the Caribbean, -18% in Africa, and -4% in developing countries in Asia. East Asia was the largest host region, accounting for one-third of global FDI in 2020. FDI to transition economies declined by 77% to $13 billion.

• Trends in selected economies

FDI in the EU fell by two thirds, with significant declines in all the largest recipients; flows to the United Kingdom decreased to zero.

• FDI trend expected to remain weak in 2021

The FDI trend may remain weak in 2021. Data on an announcement basis, an indicator of trends, provides a mixed picture and point at continued downward pressure:

For developing countries, the trends in greenfield and project finance announcements constitute a significant concern.

Although overall FDI flows in developing economies appear relatively resilient, greenfield announcements fell by 46% (-63% in Africa; -51% in Latin America and the Caribbean, and -38% in Asia) and international project finance 7% (-40% in Africa).

These investment types are crucial for the productive capacity and infrastructure development and thus for sustainable recovery prospects.

Risks related to the latest pandemic wave, the pace of the roll-out of vaccination programs and economic support packages, fragile macroeconomic situations in major emerging markets, and uncertainty about the global policy environment for investment will all continue to affect FDI in 2021.

Source: UNCTAD

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January 23, 2021

COVAX announces new Agreement and Plans for Pfizer and Oxford Vaccine Deliveries.

Covax, Geneva, WHO

Photo: UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO), and Dr. Sylvie Briand, Director, Global Infections Hazard Preparedness of WHO, during a strategic briefing on COVID-19 at Strategic Health Operations Centre (SHOC) in the headquarters of WHO in Geneva. 24 February 2020. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré.

Geneva/Oslo 22 January 2021 - COVAX, the global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level, today announced the signing of an advance purchase agreement with Pfizer for up to 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine candidate, which has already received WHO emergency use listing. The rollout will commence with the successful negotiation and execution of supply agreements.

COVAX also confirmed that it would exercise an option via an existing agreement with India’s Serum Institute (SII). It would receive its first 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University-developed vaccine manufactured by SII.

Of these first 100 million doses, most are earmarked for delivery in the first quarter of the year, pending WHO Emergency Use Listing. The WHO review process, which is currently underway, follows approval for restricted use in emergencies by the Drugs Controller General of India earlier this month and is a critical aspect of ensuring that any vaccine procured through COVAX is fully quality assured for international use.

COVAX also anticipates that, via an existing agreement with AstraZeneca, at least 50 million further doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine will be available for delivery to COVAX participants in Q1 2021, pending emergency use listing by WHO of the COVAX-specific manufacturing network for these doses. A decision on this candidate is also anticipated by WHO in February.

“Today marks another milestone for COVAX: pending regulatory approval for the AstraZeneca/Oxford candidate and pending the successful conclusion of the supply agreement for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, we anticipate being able to begin deliveries of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines by the end of February. It is not just significant for COVAX; it is a major step forward for equitable access to vaccines and an essential part of the global effort to beat this pandemic. We will only be safe anywhere if we are safe everywhere,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which leads COVAX procurement and delivery.

Preparations, led by WHO, UNICEF, and Gavi, are already well underway for COVAX to deliver vaccines to economies eligible for support via the COVAX AMC, with Gavi making US$ 150 million available from its core funding as initial, catalytic support for preparedness and delivery.

“The urgent and equitable rollout of vaccines is not just a moral imperative, it’s also a health security, strategic and economic imperative,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

“Country Readiness Portal” will be launched by WHO this month, which will allow AMC participants to submit final national deployment and vaccination plans (NDVPs).

“These purchase agreements open the door for these lifesaving vaccines to become available to people in the most vulnerable countries,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “But at the same time we are securing vaccines, we must also ensure that countries are ready to receive them, deploy them, and build trust in them.”

The COVAX Facility intends to provide all 190 participating economies with an indicative allocation of doses by the end of this month. This indicative allocation will provide interim guidance to participants - offering a minimum planning scenario to enable preparations for the final portion of the number of doses each participant will receive in the first rounds of vaccine distribution.

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT), is co-led by CEPI, Gavi, and WHO, operating with vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, the World Bank, and others. It is the only global initiative working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.

The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT) is a new, ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. It was set up in response to a call from G20 leaders in March and launched by the WHO, European Commission, France, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in April 2020.

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

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