Health and Medical Care

May 21, 2021
Video Message by the Prime Minister SUGA  at the Global Health Summit Virtual Meeting

1. On May 21, at 09:43 p.m.(JST), Prime Minister SUGA Yoshihide delivered a video message (around 5 minutes) for the Global Health Summit Virtual Meeting.

2. The full text of the speech is as follows:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Firstly, I would like to express my deepest respect and sincere gratitude for the dedication of the many health professionals and others who continue to be at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic around the world.

I would also like to express my respect for the leadership of His Excellency Mr. Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy, and Her Excellency Dr. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, in hosting this timely summit.

Our priorities are to overcome the current pandemic crisis to prepare against future health crises, therefore leading the world to a "better recovery". In order to fulfil these important missions, Japan is determined to lead international efforts in the field of health, with an emphasis on multilateralism.

Ensuring global equitable access to vaccines is the key to containing COVID-19. It is therefore necessary to have a comprehensive process for vaccine development and distribution as well as vaccination.

In order to ensure such a process, Japan contributed to the creation of the ACT Accelerator as one of the first countries to advocate for the need to establish such mechanism. Japan has so far contributed 346 million USD in total, including 200 million USD to the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment, and has supported the supply of diagnostics and therapeutics.

The immediate challenge facing the ACT Accelerator is to ensure equitable access to safe, effective and quality-assured vaccines. Therefore, I will co-host the COVAX AMC Summit with Gavi on June 2nd. We need to take even stronger steps to raise funds needed to ensure equitable access to vaccines in developing countries and elsewhere. I call upon all of you to make a strong commitment at this Summit so that we can demonstrate the unity of the international community and bring hope to the world.

For many years, Japan has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure that adequate and affordable health services are available to everyone around the world. Building on these experiences, we are committed to providing measures, including "Last One Mile Support" to deliver vaccines to each and every person in developing countries, in a timely manner, in cooperation with relevant organizations.

Through our experiences of the response to COVID-19, we have realized once again the importance of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), from the perspective of "leaving no one's health behind," and guided by the principle of “human security”.

We are also reminded of the necessity of strengthening health systems, creating a social environment that is resilient to infectious diseases through nutrition, water and sanitation, and securing sustainable financial resources for health.

Based on these lessons, Japan will host the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021 in December 2021 to promote the improvement of nutrition for people around the world. Last but not the least, I believe it is also necessary to strengthen the global health architecture in order to prepare for future pandemics. In responding to global health challenges, there should be no geographical vacuum, and it is important that information and knowledge from each country and region of the world are shared in a free, transparent and prompt manner. With this in mind, Japan attaches much importance to the role of WHO in responding to health crises. Japan has been actively contributing to discussions on the review and reform of the WHO. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with the international community and do our utmost to implement effective and practical measures against future health crises.

I look forward to welcoming you to the COVAX AMC Summit in June and to the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit in December this year.

Thank you very much indeed for your attention.

[Note] The Rome Declaration (PDF)Open a New Window

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