World Health Summit with hundreds of global health experts officially opened
Berlin, 24 October, 2021 – 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.