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May 23, 2022

GHTC welcomes the G7 Health Ministers’ Communique, particularly the commitments leaders made to bolster the global health architecture and ensure that the world can respond to future pandemics in a more coordinated and equitable manner.

The G7 expressed support for the proposal from the World Health Organization (WHO) Working Group on Sustainable Financing that would raise assessed contributions to WHO to 50 percent of its base budget by 2030–2031 to strengthen the organization’s global leadership role, something that GHTC and its partners have broadly supported.

GHTC was encouraged to see that the communique also stresses the need to scale up local and regional research, development, and manufacturing capacities, along with more sustainable supply and distribution mechanisms to support faster, equitable global access to safe and effective medical countermeasures.

Commitments were also made to tackle the silent pandemic of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)—including by exploring a range of market incentive options to encourage pharmaceutical companies and others to fund research and trials for new antibiotics. This included specific calls to support initiatives such as the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, or CARB-X, and the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP). Furthermore, the G7 underlined the importance of closing GARDP’s funding gap to facilitate its “5 by 25” initiative for the delivery of five new treatments by 2025.

Lastly, GHTC supports the new G7 framework, the Pact for Pandemic Readiness, which will see the United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy coordinate more closely together—and with relevant multilateral organizations like WHO—by building upon the best of their COVID-19-inspired initiatives, including those on surveillance and rapid response.

While it was encouraging to see such a strong consensus-driven agenda around global health security, it was disappointing to see that the communique makes no mention of several health priorities that have been neglected during the pandemic, including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and neglected tropical diseases. It is vital that leaders continue to break down silos and ensure that investments to strengthen surveillance, laboratory, manufacturing, and clinical trial capacity for health security can be leveraged across disease areas. It was also disappointing to not see additional financial commitments made to support the launch of the financial intermediary fund or to bolster manufacturing hubs and laboratory infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries.

Leaders must refocus their attention on a broader range of enduring and emerging health threats and make immediate long-term investments to put the world back on track to meet the sustainable development goals.