The European Commission, under its President, Ursula von der Leyen, is to hold a virtual donor conference to mobilise political and financial support for efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus Global Response Summit will be held on 4 May, and Prime Minister Erna Solberg will be one of the co-chairs.
‘We welcome the European Commission’s initiative to hold a major international conference to mobilise support for the development of vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for COVID-19. Given our longstanding engagement in the area of global health, it is only natural for Norway to do its part when we are asked to co-chair a conference of this kind,’ Solberg said.
The intention is for most of the funding that is raised to be used for the development of vaccines, the best possible treatments and rapid, wide-ranging diagnostic techniques for COVID-19. Norway will give priority to vaccine development and distribution through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, but will also seek to mobilise international support for cooperation to develop better treatments and testing.
Norway was involved in the establishment of both CEPI and Gavi, and since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak has been working actively at the international level to secure increased funding for CEPI’s work on COVID-19 vaccines. Norway considers it vital to ensure that any vaccine that is developed is distributed fairly, including to developing countries, and that this work is carried out under the leadership of the World Health Organization.