25 May 2020 | Statements

Unitaid greets new Korean-led initiative to improve the global response to infectious diseases

Geneva –  Unitaid welcomes the launch of the Support Group for Global Infectious Disease Response (G4IDR), an initiative led by the Republic of Korea that seeks to capitalize on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Geneva-based group convenes several countries and will collaborate with the World Health Organization (WHO) and global health organizations including Unitaid.

Is it part of the wider ‘Group of Friends of Solidarity for Global Health Security’ launched on 12 May 2020 at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA.

The Geneva G4IDR initiative was launched by H.E. Mrs Kang Kyung-wha, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. Mrs Kang emphasised the role of global institutions in tackling global challenges and said that she hoped the G4IDR Support Group, “will play an important role in facilitating and coordinating cooperation between countries and health organizations, eventually strengthening the global response not only to COVID-19 but to future global health crises that can strike next.”

Speaking at the digital launch, which was also attended by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Unitaid’s Executive Director a.i. Dr Philipe Duneton said: “We welcome this initiative from the Republic of Korea. It is clear that we cannot control the COVID-19 pandemic unless we ensure equitable access to innovative medicines, tests and technologies. We must leverage the experience of existing organizations, which is precisely the aim of the G4IDR and the Access to COVID-19 Technologies (ACT) Accelerator.”

Unitaid is an official co-convener of the ACT Accelerator therapeutics partnership and an active partner of the diagnostics and health-strengthening pillars.

The G4IDR currently brings together the Republic of Korea, Kenya, Morocco, Peru, Singapore, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, and is also open to other countries that want to improve the global response to current and future pandemics.

Media contact: Martin HARVEY | +41 79 249 35 29 | harveym@unitaid.who.int
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