Proposals and Commentaries for a Global Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Compendium (updated 17.03.2022


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to feature a lively debate on the balancing of scientific and policy perspectives.  From the beginning of the pandemic, I have been writing commentaries on the importance of applying both a political lens and a scientific lens to the management of the pandemic. At the time, we were all understandably concerned about the risk of political actions that were clearly contrary to the scientific evidence.  But that should not have led us away from the value of incorporating the science into a workable political framework for collaborative action.  I still embrace the need for balance – combining the scientific guidance on who needs to wear a mask, for example, with political guidance on how this should be implemented in specific circumstances.

A second interest of mine has been to write about the remarkable flowering of global and multi-stakeholder collaboration that the pandemic has inspired – in vaccine development most strikingly but also in the efforts to ensure global sharing of vaccines and therapeutic needs. In fact, the multi-stakeholder nature of this collaboration has been a particular focus of my ongoing commentaries.

With these themes in mind,  I started a compendium here of the proposals and actions since January 2021 that continue to inspire me to write about the global and multi-stakeholder response to the pandemic. This list had been regularly updated until March of this year (2022). It seems that I lost interest at that time – recognizing, perhaps, that the promise of better things to come just didn’t deliver the transformation in global collaboration that I believed was in the offing. So I stopped adding items to the list – even as new promises were dangled before us so temptingly – at the Second Global Pandemic Summit, at the World Health Assembly, at the G7 Elmau Summit, at the 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization….The list goes on. But the enthusiasm does not. So I have put a pause to the exercise and am preparing a wrapping-up commentary to boot. Stay tuned.

The Global Response to The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Compendium of Proposals and Commentaries

16 March 2022: “Director-General Okonjo-Iweala hails breakthrough on TRIPS COVID-19 solution”, WTO press release available here.

17 January 2022: “UN-backed COVAX mechanism delivers its 1 billionth COVID-19 vaccine dose”, UN press release available here.

17 January 2022: “WTO-IMF Vaccine Trade Tracker” updated here.

22 December 2021: Seventh Meeting of the Multilateral Leaders Task Force, December 17, 2021: “From Vaccines to Vaccinations” Joint Statement, available here.

7 December 2021: Announcing a new USAID Initiative for Global Vaccine Access, see “Statement by Administrator Samantha Power, Chair’s Statement following COVID-19 Ministerial Meeting”, available here.

29 November  2021:  “WTO members support maintaining momentum of discussions on common IP COVID-19 response”, available on the WTO website here .

28 November 2021: The World Together: Establishment of an
intergovernmental negotiating body to strengthen
pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, WHO Conference Paper  SSA2/CONF./1REV.1 available here.

24 November 2021: The politics of a WHO pandemic treaty in a disenchanted world, Conference version published on 24 November 2021, authored by Remco van de Pas, Priti Patnaik, and Nicoletta Dentico, for Geneva Global Health Hub ( G2H2) available hereA fully edited version of the report will be available in mid-December 2021.

19 November 2021: “Members to continue discussion on a common COVID-19 IP response up until MC12” from the TRIPS Council at the World Trade Organization, available here.

10 November 2021: “Chair’s Statement by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken following the COVID-19 Ministerial” available here. 

10 November 2021: “Secretary Antony J. Blinken Remarks at a Virtual COVID-19 Ministerial” available here.

09 November 2021: “International organizations, vaccine manufacturers take stock of COVID-19 vaccine roll out, share views for 2022” available on the WTO website here.

31 October 2021: “G20 Rome Leaders Declaration” available here.

29 October 2021: “Joint G20 Finance and Health Ministers Meeting Communiqué” available here.

14 October 2021: “Members pursue convergence for an IP COVID-19 response”, news report from the World Trade Organization, available here.

13 October 2021: “WHO Announces Proposed Members of its Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO)”, available here.

28 September – 1 October 2021: WTO Public Forum on “Trade Beyond COVID-19; Building Resilience”, with audio and video available for many sessions available starting here.

27 September 2021: “WHO,  WIPO, WTO Workshop on Innovation in, and Access to, COVID-19 Technologies,”, available here.

24 September 2021: Statements and Releases from the White House Briefing Room for the “Global COVID-19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better” available here.

.16 September 2021: “International organizations, vaccine manufacturers agree to intensify cooperation to deliver COVID-19 vaccines”, available here.

August 2021: “Launching a Pandemic Financing Facility:
Three Proposals & Their Implications for the Global Fund” a report prepared by the Friends of the Global Fund Japan, available here.

31 July 2021: “IMF, World Bank, WHO, WTO launch joint vaccine information website” , information available here and the new website is available here.

22 July 2021: “As Covid echoes the AIDS pandemic, Africa’s faith in Covax frays,” by Kerry Cullinan for Geneva  Solutions, available here.

15 July 2021: “How Relevant is COVAX to Middle-Income Countries?” by Julia Sawatsky for Think Global Health Newsletter, available here.

21 July 2021: “WHO-WTO dialogue steps up efforts for increased COVID-19 vaccine production and equitable access” available here.

21 July 2021: “A Third Way for World Order after COVID-19” by Amitav Acharya, published by Think Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, available here

21 July 2021: “A New World Order” by David Fidler, published by Think Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, available here.

10 July 2021: “Communiqué for the Italian Presidency G20 Third Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors”, available here.

9 July 2021:  “High Level Independent Panel urges the G20 to launch a ‘global deal’ to prevent catastrophic costs of future pandemics” available here.

9 July 2021: “A Global Deal for Our Pandemic Age”, report of the High-Level Independent on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, available here.

2 July 2021: “Finally “Inside”: New Office of Global Affairs Director Is Looking Out”, by Ted Alcorn for Think Global Health Newsletter, available here.

30 June 2021: “Joint Statement by the Heads of the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization on the First Meeting of the Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics for Developing Countries” available here, here and here.

29 June 2021: “WTO technical symposium feeds into continuing efforts to deal with COVID-19 pandemic” WTO technical symposium feeds into continuing efforts to deal with COVID-19 pandemic” available here.

13 June: “G7 Carbis Bay Health Declaration” here. See also “G7 Carbis Bay Communiqué”here for more details on G7 health-related commitments.

11 June: “Weak G7 Commitments on Vaccines Pose Majjor Downside Risk for Global Economy”, International Chamber of Commerce statement available here.

11 June 2021: “Oxfam reaction to G7 Leaders’ plan to pledge at least 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries”, Oxfam statement critical of G7  and need for 11 billion doses to end the pandemic available here.

10 June 2021: “100 Days Mission to Respond to Future Pandemic Threats” prepared by the UK’s Pandemic Preparedness Partnership for the G7 Leaders Summit, available here.

10 June 2021: “Pfizer and BioNTech to Provide 500 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine to U.S. Government for Donation to Poorest Nations” available here.

10 June 2021: “President Biden Announces Historic Vaccine Donation: Half a Billion Pfizer Vaccines to the World’s Lowest-Income Nations”, available on the White House Briefing Room website here.

7 June 2021: “WTO receives updated petition calling for universally accessible and affordable COVID-19 vaccines”, reporting on petition signed by over 2.7 million people from around the world, coordinated by Avaaz and the People’s Vaccine Alliance, available on the WTO website here.  Both groups have websites that promote the petition but not the details of where the 2.7 million are documented (Avaaz here and People’s Vaccine Alliance here).  The short petition reads as follows:

We call on you urgently to ensure access to lifesaving Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and equipment for everyone in the world. Patents should be suspended, technological knowledge shared freely and openly, and no profiteering allowed during this pandemic. Governments, scientists and pharmaceutical companies must cooperate and combine resources to ensure no one is left behind. The pandemic will not be over, until it’s over everywhere.

6 June: “Covid: more than 200 leaders urge G7 to help vaccinate world’s poorest”, in a letter first seen and reported by the Guardian, summarized here.

6 June 2021:  “Prime Minister Calls on G7 Leaders to vaccinate the world by the end of next year”, available on the G7 UK 2021 website here.

3 June 2021: “Biden-Harris Administration Unveils Strategy for Global Vaccine Sharing, Announcing Allocation Plan for the First 25 Million Doses to be Shared Globally”, reported on the White House Briefing Room here.

2 June 2021: The Gavi COVAX AMC Summit “One World Protected”, hosted  by the Government of Japan and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, raised US$ 2.4 billion from nearly 40 donor governments, the private sector and foundations, reported on the GAVI website here.

1 June 2021: “A new commitment for vaccine equity and defeating the pandemic”, a joint statement by Kristalina Georgieva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, David Malpass and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, published in major newspapers worldwide and also available on the websites of IMF, WHO, World Bank and WTO (available here).

25 May 2021: World Health Assembly adopts “Resolution on Strengthening WHO Preparedness for and response to health emergencies”, available here.  

25 May 2021: World Health Assembly approves “Decision on a Special session of the World Health Assembly to consider developing a WHO convention, agreement or other international pandemic preparedness and response”, special session to be held in Geneva on 29 November to 1 December 2021, available here.

mid-May 2021: “”COVID-19: Make It the Last Pandemic”, report with proposals for the WHO prepared by an Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, available here.

21 May 2021: “Rome Declaration”. G20 Global Health Summit available here.

21 May 2021: “A Proposal to End the COVID-19 Pandemic” an IMF blog by Kristalina GeorgievaGita Gopinath, and Ruchir Agarwal, available here.

17 May 2021:  “Open Letter to the Biden Administration and US Congress Calling for Urgent High-Level US Leadership to Address
Escalating Global COVID-19 Vaccine Crisis”, by Amanda Glassman and others, available on the CSIS website here.

17 May 2021:  “FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration is Providing at least 80 million COVID-19 Vaccines for Global Use, Commits to Leading a Multilateral Effort toward Ending the Pandemic”, available on the White House Briefing Room website here.

17 May 2021: “Remarks by President Joe Biden on the Covid-19 Response and the Vaccination Program”,  also available on the White House Briefing Room website here

10 May 2021:  “Next Steps for a People’s Vaccine,” by Jayati Ghosh, available on the GAVI website here.

7 May 2021:  “Stopping Drug Patents Has Stopped Pandemics Before,” by Laurie Garrett in Foreign Policy ,available here.

7 May 2021:  “Why we focus on vaccine equity”, by Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, available here.

6 May 2021: “Statement of Director.-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala  on USTR Tai’s Statement on the TRIPS Waiver”,  available here.

5 May 2021: “Statement from Ambassador Katherine Tai on the Covid-19 Trips Waiver,  available here.

5 May 2021: IFPMA Statement on WTO TRIPS Intellectual Property Waiver, available here.

5 May 2021: PhRMA Statement on WTO TRIPS Intellectual Property Waiver, available here.

28 April: “Go Give One” launched by WHO Foundation, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (reported here). See the new website here.

28 April: Jeremy Farrar with the Wellcome Trust in support of the COVAX Facility, “Political leaders must ensure Covid vaccines aren’t the preserve of the rich”., published by The Guardian here.

28 April: Mark McClellan, Krishna Udayakumar, Michael Merson and Gary Edson, in support of American vaccine diplomacy, “Why America’s Next Covid Push Should be Outside America” published by Politico here.

27 April: “Global faith leaders call for drug firms to vaccinate world against Covid” in support of an IP waiver, published by The Guardian here.

21 April:  Joint Appeal by Members of the European Parliament and of European National Parliaments Urging the EU and its Member States to Support a TRIPS Waiver (posted with Club of Madrid here).

15 April 2021:  Reducing Global COVID Vaccine Shortages: New Research and Recommendations for US Leadership, authored by Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, Krishna Udayakumar, MD, MBA, Michael Merson, MD and Gary Edson, JD, MBA,  for Duke Global Health Innovation Center and associated institutes, available here.

15 April:  “The Gavi Covax AMC Investment Opportunity Launch – One World Protected”, hosted by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, with agenda (available here and live webcasting available here.

15 April: “Former heads of state and Nobel laureates call on President Biden to waive intellectual property rules for COVID vaccines” (posted by the Club of Madrid here)

14 April:  “COVID-19 and Vaccine Equity: What Can the WTO Contribute?” See the WTO Director-General’s  statement and wrap-up of this meeting (both available here).

14 April: USTR Katherine Tai’s  Remarks at a WTO virtual conference on COVID-19 vaccine equity (on the USTR website here)

12 March 2021: Remarks by President Biden, Prime Minister Modi of India, Prime Minister Morrison of Australia, and Prime Minister Suga of Japan in the Virtual Quad Leaders Summit, from the US White House Briefing Room, available here.

13 March 2021: Joint Opinion Statement “Our four nations are committed to a free, open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region”, Joint opinion statement in The Washington Post, available here.

19  February 2021: Joint Statement on COVID-19 of G7 Leaders, available here.

25 January 2021: ICC Research Foundation, The Economic Case for Global Vaccinations”, available on the ICC website here.

21 January 2021: “National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness,” available through the White House Briefing Room here

21 January 2021: “National Security Memorandum on United States Global Leadership to Strengthen the International COVID-19 Response and to Advance Global Health Security and Biological Preparedness”, available through the White House Briefing Room here.


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