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World leaders call for international pandemic treaty

Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined more than 20 world leaders in calling for a new global settlement to help the world prepare for future pandemics.

In a newspaper article, leaders, including the German Chancellor and the French President, said Covid posed the greatest challenge since World War II.

The pandemic has shown that “no one is safe until everyone is safe,” they said.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the UK would need a vaccine surplus before it could export supplies.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph and in publications such as Le Monde in France and El Pais in Spain, the 24 leaders argue that a treaty similar to that concluded in the aftermath of World War II is necessary to build cross-border cooperation.

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The signatories, including the head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “At that time, following the devastation of two world wars, political leaders came together to forge the system. multilateral.

“The objectives were clear: to bring countries together, to dispel the temptations of isolationism and nationalism, and to meet the challenges that could only be met together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation – namely peace, prosperity, health and safety. “

Leaders said that in the same spirit; countries must now “be better prepared to anticipate, prevent, detect; assess and respond effectively to pandemics in a highly coordinated manner.”

A new treaty would help put in place better systems to alert people to potential pandemics, they said; while improving data sharing and the distribution of vaccines and personal protective equipment.

“There will be other pandemics and other major health emergencies. No government or multilateral agency can address this threat on their own. The question is not if, but when.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been a stark and painful reminder that no one is safe until everyone is safe.”

The letter added: “At a time when Covid-19 has exploited our weaknesses; and divisions, we must seize this opportunity; and come together as a global community for peaceful cooperation that extends beyond this crisis.”

Dr David Nabarro, a special envoy on Covid-19 for the WHO, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that without “some kind of special action; the world as a whole will not be vaccinated until well into 2022”.

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“During that time all sorts of problems with variants will emerge, and so all that leaders are saying is ‘this problem is so huge we’ve got to work together to deal with it,” he added.

Mr. Kwarteng told the programme that making vaccines available to other counties “can happen once we have a surplus of vaccines here in the UK”.

“There’s still a way to go. We’ve got to make sure we do everything we can deal with the pandemic; and coronavirus in this country,” he said.

“But obviously we want to work in the spirit of co-operation as well; when we do have surpluses we’ll be looking to export those, I’m sure.”

The joint article follows a disagreement between the UK and the EU over vaccines; after the bloc introduced tighter export controls on jabs produced there.

The UK and the World Health Organization have warned of the blockages; while the EU has accused pharmaceutical companies – primarily AstraZeneca – of failing to deliver promised doses.

AstraZeneca has denied not honoring its contract.

At a Downing Street briefing on Monday; Mr. Johnson announced that tens of millions of doses of the Novavax vaccine would now be produced; and packaged in the north-east of England.

The Prime Minister said an agreement has been reached with GlaxoSmithKline to bottle 60 million doses at its facilities at Barnard Castle.

The original plan called for the “fill and finish” process – where vaccines are packaged into vials – to be carried out in Europe.

Novavax is currently under evaluation by the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency.

Also during the briefing, the Prime Minister said the UK did not know “exactly how strong its defenses against another wave of Covid would be” despite its “impressive” vaccine rollout.

He was speaking as the stay-at-home rule ended in England, allowing groups to meet outside. Outdoor sports facilities, including swimming pools, tennis courts, and golf courses, have reopened, while weddings are also resuming.

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Anthony Edwards third youngest in NBA history with 40-point