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Opening remarks by President von der Leyen at the civil society consultation ahead of the Global Health Summit

Opening remarks given yesterday by President von der Leyen at the civil society consultation ahead of the Global Health Summit.

"Check against delivery"

Prime Minister Draghi, dear Mario,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for joining us from all the different places!

We are in this together!

And we have to work together – because, as we all know, no one is safe until everyone is safe. We have to join forces to fight this pandemic from every angle and to recover sustainably. This is true for health authorities and all levels of government. It is true for scientists, universities and pharmaceutical companies. And it is of course true for civil society: NGOs and foundations, philanthropists and international institutions. People like you. People who are dealing with global health challenges on a daily basis.

This pandemic has shown to us that health is a true global public good. This is why the Italian G20 presidency and the European Commission decided to host a Global Health Summit on May 21st in Rome. And this is why we want to hear from YOU before we discuss how to prevent future crises, how to prepare better and how to become more resilient in an era of pandemics.

There are important questions to address: What is needed to ensure effective multilateral cooperation when responding to a global health crisis? What can we do to ensure that ALL countries, big or small, with high or with low income, have the necessary capacities to tackle the next crisis? And, last but not least: how can we mobilize the necessary resources on a global level?

Billions of people around the world urgently wait for answers. Not only to fight this pandemic. But also to be better prepared for the next one.

In the European Union we have started to prepare while also drawing our lessons. With our Hera Incubator, we want to get ahead of the curve in the next phase of the virus. For example, by boosting even further our production capacity in Europe.

Not only for Europe, but also for the world. Just as we are doing right now – with vaccines that are being delivered to Europe, and vaccines being exported around the world. We are accelerating the development of vaccines. Therefore we are stepping up research and data exchange between science and industry. And we are speeding up the approval procedures. Because as in any crisis time is of the essence.

It's important, that we all learn from each other. Our joint ambition must be to achieve the same level of preparedness at a global level.

This is why we need your input.

Your ideas, your expertise and your passion.

Therefore, once again: I am excited to have you all with us today.

Thank you so much for joining, and I am looking forward to your contribution!

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