G7 leaders will commit to using all their resources to prevent a global pandemic from ever happening again when they meet in Cornwall today (Saturday).
The world’s leading democracies are expected to agree the ‘Carbis Bay Declaration’, an historic statement setting out a series of concrete commitments to prevent any repeat of the human and economic devastation wreaked by coronavirus.
Leaders will be joined in their discussions on global health at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall today by their counterparts from South Korea, South Africa, Australia and India, and the Secretary General of the UN alongside other leaders of international organisations – recognising the need to tackle the roots of the coronavirus pandemic on a truly global level.
They will receive a presentation by Sir Patrick Vallance and Melinda French Gates on the work of the Pandemic Preparedness Partnership, a group of international experts drawn from across industry, government and scientific institutions established by the UK earlier this year to advise the G7 on how to prevent, detect and respond to future pandemics.
Today the Pandemic Preparedness Partnership will publish an independent report, the ‘100 Days Mission to Respond to Future Pandemic Threats’, which contains actionable recommendations on how governments and others can quickly respond to any future outbreaks. The first 100 days after the identification of an epidemic threat are crucial to changing its course and, ideally, preventing it from becoming a pandemic.
The Carbis Bay declaration will incorporate the recommendations of this report and set out the other steps G7 countries will take to prevent a future pandemic. These include slashing the time taken to develop and licence vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for any future disease to under 100 days, a commitment to reinforce global surveillance networks and genomic sequencing capacity and support for reforming and strengthening the World Health Organization.
75% of new human diseases originate in animals and these diseases are emerging at an increasing rate. Controlling zoonotic diseases is a key element of the PM’s 5 Point Plan for preventing future pandemics set out at the UN last year – the first plan articulated by a G7 leader on pandemic preparedness. To stop new animal-borne diseases before they put people at risk, the UK will establish a UK Animal Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre at The Pirbright Institute in Surrey.
The Centre will draw on Pirbright’s world leading expertise to accelerate the delivery of vaccines for livestock diseases. These diseases pose a risk to people if they mutate to become transmissible to humans and can devastate agriculture in the UK and internationally. The centre will rapidly assess promising new technologies in the field, and develop and test novel vaccines for emerging diseases.
The UK has led the fight against Covid-19 through our support for the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and has a long history of leadership in vaccine research. Smallpox and rinderpest – the first two diseases in history to be totally wiped out – were eradicated using vaccines developed by British scientists.
The UK has contributed £10 million of funding for centre, which will establish the UK as world leader in the rapidly growing field of novel livestock vaccine development capability. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide £14.5m to establish the centre, building on its current investments in vaccines for livestock and zoonotic diseases at The Pirbright Institute.
This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement last month that the UK had launched plans for a global ‘pandemic radar’ to identify emerging COVID-19 variants and track new diseases around the world. Today he will ask for G7 support for the Global Pandemic Radar, which will protect domestic vaccine programmes against new vaccine-resistant variants by identifying them early and before they are able to spread.
The G7 is uniquely well-placed to lead global efforts in pandemic prevention – the group is home to two-thirds of the world’s pharmaceutical market and the four coronavirus vaccines licenced for use in the UK were all developed in G7 nations (the UK, US and Germany).
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
The Carbis Bay declaration will be agreed by leaders today and published tomorrow alongside the G7 Summit Communique.
It builds on the steps taken by others to strengthen pandemic preparedness this year, including the recent recommendations of the Independent Panel for Preparedness and Response.
The UK is also supporting work in the World Health Organization on a Pandemic Treaty to increase global efforts to prevent future pandemics.
Dr Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization said:
Professor Bryan Charleston, Director and CEO of Pirbright said:
Rodger Voorhies, President, Global Growth & Opportunity at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said:
Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, a co-funder of the UK Animal Vaccine and Innovation Centre project said:
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