Opening remarks by the WHO Director-General at the launch of ACT Accelerator

Thanks Bruce.

Good morning, good afternoon and good night.

Yesterday we celebrated the end of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Many of the same public health measures that have been successful in stopping Ebola, such as case finding, isolation, testing, contact tracing, and respectful care, are the same measures that countries are now implementing against COVID. -19.

But we have also had a tool in the fight against Ebola that we do not yet have for COVID-19: an effective vaccine.

Without it, there is no doubt that we would have had more cases and more deaths.

Clearly, to control COVID-19 and save lives, we need effective vaccines, diagnostics and therapies, in unprecedented amounts and at unprecedented rates.

And it is clear that because everyone is at risk of having COVID-19, everyone should have access to all the tools to prevent, detect and treat it, not just those who can afford it.

Two months ago, I joined President Emmanuel Macron, President Ursula von der Leyen, and Melinda Gates to launch the COVID-19 Tool Access Accelerator, a global multi-partner initiative to ensure equitable access to life-saving tools for COVID-19.

Before a major pledge event tomorrow led by the European Commission and Global Citizen in support of the ACT Accelerator, I am delighted to be here today to announce more details on how the ACT Accelerator works and how we make sure that together. We live up to the commitments we have made.

The principle of equitable access is something simple to say, but something complicated to implement: it requires active collaboration between governments, industry, health organizations, civil society organizations and communities.

Vaccines, diagnosis and therapy are vital tools, but to be truly effective they must be administered with another essential ingredient, which is solidarity.

Thank you.