By Aaron Humes: A statement from the White House has announced that the United States and four countries currently holding the chairmanship or presidency of major supranational blocs will be jointly hosting the second Global COVID-19 Summit, to be held virtually on May 12.
Belize will be represented in the group as chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), led by Prime Minister John Briceno. The other chairs are Germany of the Group of Seven (G7) major industrialized nations; Indonesia as president of the Group of 20 developing nations; and Senegal as chair of the African Union (AU).
The first summit was held last September and this follow-up is intended, according to the statement, to “redouble our collective efforts to end the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future health threats.
The co-hosts ask world leaders, members of civil society, non-governmental organizations, philanthropists, and the private sector “to make new commitments and bring solutions to vaccinate the world, save lives now, and build better health security — for everyone, everywhere.”
Topics to be discussed include finding locally-led solutions to immediate and long-term challenges including boosting vaccination, deploying tests and treatments, especially for highest risk populations; expanding and protecting the health workforce and minimizing disruption to routine and essential health services; Enhancing access to medical countermeasures, including research and development and scaling and diversifying local and regional manufacturing; and generating sustainable financing for pandemic preparedness, health security, and health systems
The Summit will also talk about building, sustaining and financing global capacity against both emerging COVID-19 variants and future health crises.