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10/24/2021 19:00

UN Secretary-General Guterres: “Vaccine nationalism and hoarding are putting us all at risk.”

Daniela Levy Media & Communication
World Health Summit

    World Health Summit with hundreds of global health experts officially opened

    On Sunday evening, the 13th World Health Summit officially opened in Berlin and online. The prevailing topic: Lessons learnt from COVID-19.

    The World Health Summit 2021 will once again bring together the brightest minds in the field of global health. 380 speakers and 6,000 participants from all over the world are expected online and on-site.

    During the opening ceremony in Berlin and online, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stressed that international cooperation is vital: “Cross border health threats need cross border responses.”, said von der Leyen. “We need a global standard for health preparedness.” (via video)

    Federal Minister of Health of Germany Jens Spahn warned that COVID-19 has deeply shaped the lives of all citizens worldwide over the last one and a half years. "Let us make use of the lessons we had to learn in a painful way.”

    UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in his prerecorded speech: “Vaccine nationalism and hoarding are putting us all at risk.”

    “The pandemic can be controlled but it requires far greater supply and sharing of vaccines by governments and manufacturers to the world’s most vulnerable countries, driven by a commitment to equity and solidarity,” said WHO-Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “The damage caused by COVID-19 has underscored the need for stronger global health architecture, and high-level political commitment, through a global compact or agreement to prevent and respond to pandemics.”

    Axel R. Pries, President of the World Health Summit called for greater support of supranational institutions: „Improving health for the global population requires strengthening supranational bodies”. This is also one of the central themes of this year’s World Health Summit, Pries said.

    More Opening Speakers:
    • Bill Anderson, CEO, Roche Pharmaceuticals
    • Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF
    • Stefan Oelrich, Member of the Board of Management and Head of the Pharmaceuticals Division, Bayer AG
    • Soazic Elise Wang Sonne, Social Development Global Practice Young Professional, World Bank

    A recording of the opening ceremony will be available afterwards here:

    On the second day, Monday, Oct. 25, speakers include:
    • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO)
    • Christian Drosten, Director, Institute of Virology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
    • Chikwe Ihekweazu, Incoming Assistant Director-General, WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence
    • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO)
    • Lia Tadesse Gebremedhin, Minister of Health, Ethiopia
    • Charles Michel, President of the European Council
    • John Nkengasong, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Seth Berkley, CEO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
    • Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization (WHO)
    • Jeremy Farrar, Director, Wellcome Trust
    All information on speakers:

    Central topics of the World Health Summit 2021:
    • Vaccine Equity: A Call to Action
    • Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons from COVID-19
    • The Intersection of COVID-19 and Mental Health
    • The Role of the European Union in Global Health
    • WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All
    • Unlocking Digital and AI Technologies for Health
    More on program:

    Digital participation in the World Health Summit is free and possible without prior registration. The Zoom links can be accessed directly in the respective sessions in the online program:

    All session recordings:

    On-site participation is limited and by invitation only due to COVID-19. Access to the venue requires proof of EU-approved vaccination, recovery or negative test, not older than 24 hours. On-site, hygiene and distancing rules apply.

    The World Health Summit is one of the world’s most important strategic forums for global health and brings together leaders from politics, science, civil society, and the private sector, aiming to set the course for a healthier future. It was founded in 2009 to mark the 300th anniversary of Charité and is held under the patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. President of the World Health Summit is Axel R. Pries, Dean of Charité. International President 2021 is Charles Ibingira, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Uganda.

    Press information:

    Press accreditation for on-site participation has been closed.
    For further inquiries, please contact
    Digital participation is possible without accreditation. Video and audio material can be used upon request. Source: World Health Summit

    World Health Summit
    October 24-26
    Kosmos, Karl-Marx-Allee 131a, 10243 Berlin, Germany & Digital
    Twitter: @WorldHealthSmt
    LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram: @worldhealthsummit

    Press contact
    Daniela Levy


    Criteria of this press release:
    Journalists, Scientists and scholars
    Economics / business administration, Medicine, Nutrition / healthcare / nursing, Politics, Social studies
    transregional, national
    Press events, Scientific conferences



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