South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has urged the G7 countries to use their dominant position to ensure that the world's population is vaccinated in the shortest time possible. These are his remarks to the summit on Saturday, 12 June, 2021.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Your Excellencies,
South Africa commends the G7 and other countries present for the collective action taken to overcome the current global health crisis and the commitment to create a better, greener and more prosperous world.
Ending the pandemic must be our most immediate priority.
COVID-19 is not over.
Globally, there were more COVID cases reported in the first five months of 2021 than in the whole of 2020.
We, therefore, have to act with urgency and at an unprecedented scale.
To successfully contain a virus of this nature, to limit loss of life and to prevent the emergence of new variants requires that as many of the world's population is vaccinated in the shortest time possible.
At the same time, we need to address the substantial financing gap for tests, treatments, critical supplies like oxygen and the health systems that enable testing, treatment and vaccination.
It is, therefore, vital that G7 countries...