World leaders urge for global treaty to protect countries from pandemic

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LONDON 

The world needs a global settlement, similar to the one that forged World War II, to protect countries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, world leaders said in a joint letter on Tuesday.

The letter that came after a G7 health ministers meeting on Monday, saying the pandemic had been “a stark and painful reminder that nobody is safe until everyone is safe.”

Signed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and 21 other world leaders, an article published by various newspapers across the globe, including The Telegraph, called for an end to isolationism and nationalism, in favor of a new era of solidarity.

The call comes from 24 world leaders, alongside the head of the World Health Organization Tedros Ghebreyesus.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge to the global community since the 1940s,” it said.

The letter noted: “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.”

A treaty on pandemics “should lead to more mutual accountability and shared responsibility, transparency and cooperation within the international system and with its rules and norms,” it continued.

The main goal of this treaty “would be to foster an all of government and all of society approach, strengthening national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics,” according to the letter.

“This includes greatly enhancing international co-operation to improve, for example, alert systems, data-sharing, research and local, regional and global production and distribution of medical and public health counter-measures such as vaccines, medicines, diagnostics and personal protective equipment,” it added.

The leaders also said all countries need to seize the opportunity to “come together as a global community for peaceful co-operation that extends beyond this crisis.”

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