The Week In Russia: A Dangerous Game Changer

Kenyan Official Calls Deaths of 89 Kenyans in Saudi Arabia ‘Suspicious’

NAIROBI —

Kenya’s Foreign Ministry says 89 Kenyans, most of them domestic workers, have died in Saudi Arabia in the past two years. Saudi authorities told their Kenyan counterparts that most of the deaths were from cardiac arrest. But abuse of foreign domestic workers has long been a problem in Saudi Arabia and the Kenyan ministry this week admitted that it never conducted independent investigations.

Appearing before parliament’s labor committee, foreign affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said Thursday all the Kenyan deaths in Saudi Arabia over the last two years are suspicious.

“We have compared the deaths, so it’s not possible that you have three deaths in Qatar, one in UAE, two in Kuwait, nine in Oman, two in Bahrain and you have 40-50 in the other country because the number may be larger but they are not that larger. It’s not possible that these young people are all dying of cardiac arrest,” Kamau said.

Forty-one Kenyans died in Saudi Arabia in the last nine months, allegedly due to heart failure.

Kamau blamed the Ministry of Labor for failing to do its job and protect Kenyan workers.

With very little opportunity at home, many see working in Arab countries as a ticket out of poverty in a country where about 40% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Wachira Kabinga, a lawmaker and chair of the labor committee, said Kenyan laborers abroad need protection.

“This is priority number one for the work of this committee in the remaining period. If there are things that we would like to leave behind, is a proper and clear recommendation on what needs to be done in this particular area to ensure that our people are not living as slaves.”

Caroline Aluoch, 24, was among the 41 Kenyans who have died in Saudi Arabia this year.

Aluoch signed an employment contract for two years as a domestic worker to earn tuition fees for the remaining two years of her education. Aluoch wanted to be a high school teacher.

Her sister, Beryl Awuor, told VOA before her death, her sister feared for her life.

The mother of two got the sad news on May 5. She was told her sister had committed suicide but did not buy it.

“They did the postmortem in Saudi Arabia,” she said. “We suspect they beat her before killing her. We saw scratches on her face, she also had a deep cut around her chest. She was stuck with something.”

Awour said her family never received an explanation for that cut.

“Even the person who did the postmortem here did not explain it to us. I am still in the dark,” she says.

The family received Alouch’s death certificate and her passport.

At least 100,000 Kenyans work in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, most as domestic workers or doing other menial jobs.

Amnesty International says workers in the Middle East often complain of a lack of payment for their work, forced labor, physical abuse, rape, and dangerous working conditions.

Source: Voice of America

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South Africans Want Their Country Off Britain’s COVID Travel ‘Red List’

JOHANNESBURG —

Britain is gradually easing COVID-19 travel restrictions among African countries on its so-called red list at highest risk of spreading coronavirus. However, South Africa remains on the list, despite a decline in infections. The status is taking a toll on South African tourism and people wanting to visit their families in Britain.

Lynne Philip hasn’t seen her son and two grandchildren, who live in England, in four years.

The 70-year-old Johannesburg resident had a flight booked to visit them last year when the pandemic struck, canceling all travel.

Now, she’s fully vaccinated with two Pfizer shots and desperate to go.

But Philip says Britain’s “red list” designation for South Africa is making it impossible.

“I can’t afford to go into quarantine there. Timewise it’s going to be a problem. It cuts too much into your travel, into your visiting time. We do speak on Zoom, but it’s not the same. I just would like to be able to see my family,” she said.

Philip is not alone. Over 29,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling on British lawmakers to ease travel restrictions for South Africans — with many describing anguish over family separation.

The UK Embassy in South Africa reiterated the decision this week, saying it remains concerned about the presence of the beta variant and “its potential ability to circumvent vaccines.”

But Dr. Michelle Groome, with South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases, says that rationale is at odds with the science.

“This doesn’t make any sense at all, because delta is now making up, I think it’s in excess of 96% of our sequences at the moment, and so beta is really not a concern at all. I don’t see that there’s any difference between us and say, Kenya or India or anyone else that has now been taken off the ‘red list.’”

Africa’s Centres for Disease Control is also calling on the United Kingdom to review its position.

The center says immunized Africans, who are receiving the same vaccines as people in Europe, should be recognized equally.

While the United States has restricted entry for South Africans, the White House announced earlier this week that it will lift that rule for those who are fully vaccinated beginning in November.

Several European countries have already made that shift.

Ina Gouws, a political scientist at the University of the Free State, says it’s hard not to read Britain’s restrictions as political.

“There is reason to think that the region is being treated differently. When there are no clear answers based in fact, speculations start to happen, and that can be dangerous and certainly not good for diplomatic relations. The messaging is one, then, of prejudice. And it is not upon our diplomatic channels to ascertain why this is,” Gouws said.

Dr. Groome says barring vaccinated travelers also sends the wrong message to the public about the effectiveness of vaccines.

“We are trying very hard to promote vaccines in our country, and as with many countries are, you know, struggling a little bit with that faction who are hesitant to receive the vaccines. And in this case, you know, then it makes people question as to as to why, perhaps with the vaccines that we’re giving are not as good as those being used elsewhere, which is obviously not correct,” Groom said.

The economic toll of the “red list” has also been crippling because the UK is the biggest source of tourists for South Africa.

David Frost, chief executive of South Africa’s inbound tourism association, says the disappearance of British travelers is costing the country $1.7 million a day.

“We’ve got a precious conservation base, which is one of the world’s best that is under total threat, because there’s no income, there’s no money for anti-poaching activities. One in seven South Africans is putting food on the table because of tourism. And when tourism suffers, that means the people don’t eat,” Frost said.

South Africa’s international relations minister, Naledi Pandoor, has echoed those concerns and is appealing to British officials to have the decision reversed.

Frost says he hopes the added political push will pay off when the UK reviews its “red list” in coming weeks.

Source: Voice of America

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Kenya To Continue Leading Efforts To Grow Global Uptake Of Clean Energy, President Kenyatta Says

President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the international community to back a joint call-for-action on clean energy by Kenya, Malawi and The Netherlands, and assured that the East African nation will continue leading efforts to grow global uptake of clean energy.

The President rallied the international community to especially invest more in initiatives that will accelerate access to clean energy by households in developing countries.

“Kenya has submitted an energy compact on clean cooking. Further, Kenya will continue to champion the establishment of an international day for clean cooking to help raise awareness, and mobilize political will as well as resources for clean cooking,” the President said.

The Head of State made the appeal on Friday in a video address to a high-level panel discussion on energy held on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76) in New York.

He said Kenya had made major strides in the production and uptake of clean energy noting that electricity access in the country had expanded from below 30 percent in 2013 to over 75 percent in 2020.

“In addition, Kenya has demonstrated that it is possible to achieve ambitious development goals while remaining green.

“We have installed the biggest wind power plant in sub-Sahara Africa, the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, and are steadily exploiting and deploying available geothermal potential, currently estimated at 10,000 Megawatts,” the President said.

President Kenyatta said renewable energy accounts for 73 percent of Kenya’s installed electricity generation capacity, adding that the country targets to attain full transition to renewable energy by 2030.

“Further, we aim to achieve 100 per cent access to clean cooking by 2028. But, access to finance remains a critical barrier to faster progress in achieving our targets, ” he said.

On his part, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on nations to close the energy access gap by 2030, and transition to use of renewable energy to attain net zero emissions by 2050.

“That means cutting in half the number of people without access to electricity by 2025. And it means providing over 1 billion people with access to clean cooking solutions by 2025,” he said.

Mr Guteress challenged countries to rapidly shift to decarbonized energy systems and intensify efforts to improve energy efficiency.

“To reach universal energy access by 2030 and maintain a net-zero trajectory by mid-century, we must mobilize predictable finance at scale and promote technology transfer to the developing world.

“We need to triple investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency to 5 trillion dollars a year,” he said.

The UN Secretary General said countries must commit themselves to reducing emissions by 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030, and reach net zero emissions by 2050 in order to limit atmospheric temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees as envisaged by the Paris Agreement.

Source: President Republic of Kenya

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President Kenyatta Challenges Global Financial Institutions To Increase Investment In Agriculture

(PSCU) – President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged global financial institutions to ramp up investments in agriculture as part of their support for African economies.

In a pre-recorded video statement delivered Thursday evening during the virtual inaugural United Nations (UN) Food Systems Summit held on the margins of the ongoing UN General Assembly (UNGA 76), the President urged financial institutions to suppport the innovation and design appropriate mechanisms that will help eliminate risks and losses in Africa’s agricultural sector.

“To support transformation of our economies, I would like to challenge our global financial institutions to innovate and design appropriate de-risking and financing instruments for increased investment in agriculture especially on the African continent,” President Kenyatta.

The President said as part of Kenya’s commitment to investing in sustainable and resilient food systems, his administration has developed a food systems call to action that is data driven, inclusive and innovative.

He added that Kenya’s unique food system encompasses rich and diverse diets as well as a climate resilient livelihoods plan, a combination that has ensured significant progress towards 100 percent food and nutrition security in the country.

The President listed five strategies the country has deployed towards enhancing food production systems among them the provision of relevant information to farmers and traders through national e-voucher programme as well as extension and advisory services, market information systems and commodity exchange services.

President Kenyatta said the Kenyan Government was determined to fully re-engaged the youth in food production through the revival of 4-K and Young Farmers clubs so as to ignite their passion for agriculture and teach them about healthy diets.

“We are also increasing access to nutritious foods and diversifying the diets by bringing back forgotten and neglected traditional foods, investing in fisheries, aquaculture, livestock, fruits, and vegetable farming,” President Kenyatta said.

He added that his Government had also expanded school feeding and school milk programmes.

“As the global youth champion, I am pleased that Kenya is taking leadership in the School Meals Coalition as a critical driver to institutionalising nutrition-based school feeding programmes in all participating countries,” the President said.

President Kenyatta said the Government had harnessed the power of innovation and digital technologies in agriculture as well as fostering an environment that allows innovators to contribute to agricultural transformation.

“Using mobile technologies, we are equipping our farmers with information on markets and inputs. We will further use these apps in the deployment of extension services across our country,” the President said.

The Head of State said that as part of Kenya’s climate smart agriculture, the country was accelerating ecosystem restoration through agroforestry, reforestation and sustainable utilization of natural resources

In his keynote address, UN Secretary General António Guterres urged the global community to prioritise emergency food and nutrition supplies to areas affected by conflicts and climate emergencies.

“We need to invest in early warning famine prevention systems and we need to shockproof all the systems that contribute to nutrition,” Mr Guterres said.

He decried costly and inaccessible nutrition that lead to poor consumer choices and urged governments to work together with businesses to increase access to healthy and diverse diets.

“Changing food systems is not only possible, it is necessary for people, for our planet and for prosperity,” the UN Secretary-General said.

Other peakers, among them DR Congo President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi who is also the Chairman of the African Union and President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, committed to the promotion of sustainable and resilient food systems so as to attain thee global goal of zero hunger by the year 2030.

Source: President Republic of Kenya

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Schedule for issuance of Certificates and Transcripts for Graduates of 41st Graduation (13th August 2021)

This is to notify the graduates of the 41st Graduation that was held on 13th August 2021, a schedule for issuance of Certificates and Transcripts has been released.

The graduates are adviced to:

1. Strictly come on the date/s allocated to your school against your serial number in the graduation book.

2. Requirements for collection:

• Clearance form (download after clearing online)

• Original National ID and Copy

• Original KCSE certificate and Copy ( for Bachelors and diploma graduands)

• Original Bachelor’s degree certificate and copy (Masters graduands)

• Original Master’s degree certificate and copy (Ph.D. graduands)

• Student identity card

Source: Moi University

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Global COVID-?19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better

On September 22, 2021, President Biden convened a virtual Global COVID-19 Summit focused on ending the pandemic and building better health security to prevent and prepare for future biological threats.

The President called on the world to collectively end the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as possible, with every country, partner, and organization doing its part, aligning around shared goals and targets, and holding each other to account. At the same time, all countries need the capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats, including future pandemics. The Summit introduced ambitious targets in three critical areas for ending this pandemic and preventing and preparing for the next: Vaccinate the World; Save Lives Now; and Build Back Better.

President Biden hosted the virtual Global COVID Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better, which included participation by representatives from more than 100 governments and other partners and more than 100 leaders from international organizations, the private sector, the philanthropic sector, civil society, academia, and other stakeholders. These are listed below.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed over 4.5 million lives and continues to ravage communities and economies around the world. President Biden called on Summit participants to not only do more, but to do enough to end the pandemic and build back better.

President Biden was also joined at the Summit by Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power, Department of Health and Human Services Director of the Office of Global Affairs Loyce Pace, and State Department Coordinator for the Global COVID-19 Response and Health Security Gayle Smith. The full list of participants is available below.

Throughout the Summit, leaders of countries and organizations underscored the importance of coalescing around shared targets to align commitments with outcomes, as all parties worked together to: Vaccinate the World, Save Lives Now, and Build Back Better Global Health Security over the months ahead. Reaching these targets will require leadership, ambition, boldness, collaboration, transparency, and new commitments.

In advance of and during the Summit, many countries and stakeholders announced their intention to donate vaccines and financial support to critical vaccine readiness activities to ensure shots get into arms around the world. Leaders broadly aligned around the World Health Organization (WHO) target of vaccinating at least 70 percent of the global population in every country by UNGA 2022 and expressed shared urgency to do more, to act now, to enhance accountability, and to monitor progress. To advance this effort, President Biden called for another Heads of State-level Summit in the first quarter of 2022, and Secretary Blinken committed to convene Foreign Ministers in 2021. Countries made new commitments to share doses and/or double or triple previous pledges for vaccines, delivery, oxygen and testing support, and health security.

Participants from around the world and across sectors, listed below, brought commitments to the Summit – further details will be available over the coming days. While the event was not a pledging conference, participants’ combined commitments exceeded 850 million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses and major new commitments for vaccine readiness, oxygen, testing, health systems, and health security financing.

A list of new commitments announced by the United States at or around the Summit can be found in this Fact Sheet.

A link to the common targets released by the United States during the Summit for tracking and accountability can be found here.

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Session 1. Calling the World to Account and Vaccinating the World

President Biden chaired the opening session of the Summit, which was focused on the need for all countries, organizations, and stakeholders to do more to make COVID-19 vaccines available to all people, everywhere. He was joined by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Participants echoed President Biden’s call to align around common targets, more urgently track progress, and support one another in fulfilling commitments. World leaders embraced the World Health Organization goal of fully vaccinating at least 70 percent of the population in every country and income category with quality, safe, and effective vaccines by UNGA 2022, and leaders called for more urgent and equitable distribution of vaccine doses.

President Biden announced bold new commitments from the United States to supply an additional 500 million doses of Pfizer vaccine that will all be shipped by this time next year, bringing the U.S. total commitment of donated vaccines to over 1.1 billion.

He also announced that the United States is stepping up efforts to get shots into arms and boost global manufacturing. He encouraged countries to join the United States in upholding a set of principles to ensure we can fulfill our collective global commitments for equitable global distribution of safe and effective WHO Emergency Use Listed-authorized COVID-19 vaccines. Those principles include committing to donate, rather than sell, doses to low- and lower-middle income countries with no political strings attached; to support COVAX as the main mechanism for sharing WHO-authorized vaccines; to fight vaccine disinformation; to exercise transparency; to build public trust; and to work toward common goals and targets to measure progress and to hold ourselves and each accountable. The President acknowledged efforts through the Quad partnership to help produce at least 1 billion vaccine doses in India to boost the global vaccine supply by the end of 2022, as well as U.S. financing to help strengthen manufacturing in South Africa and produce more than 500 million J&J doses in Africa for Africa by next year.

President Biden also emphasized the vital logistical challenge of getting those vaccines into the arms of people, and he called on all participants to significantly step up investments in this area. He announced a commitment of an additional $370 million to support global vaccine readiness and delivery, and he committed more than $380 million in assistance for Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, to provide political risk insurance to facilitate shipment of vaccines to nine countries across three continents. In addition, he called on countries, vaccine manufacturers, and other partners to expand global and regional vaccine manufacturing capacity and enhance transparency to make vaccine production and distribution more predictable and coordinated. He emphasized the United States is working with partner nations and manufacturer to increase their capability to produce and make safe and highly effective vaccines in their own countries.

The President also underscored the importance of saving lives now, and noted the United States is providing nearly $1.4 billion to reduce COVID-19 deaths and mitigate transmission through bulk oxygen support, expanded testing, strengthening healthcare systems and more.

Finally, President Biden emphasized U.S. support for the establishment of a global health security financing mechanism to prepare for the next pandemic, which Vice President Harris detailed later in the Summit. He closed the meeting by calling on leaders to set targets that require us to aim high, follow through on our commitments, and hold each other accountable to end the pandemic and advance health security for all.

Finally, President Biden called for a whole of society response, with an ask for the private sector, country governments, philanthropies, and civil society to take up the U.S. call to action to solve core challenges toward ending the pandemic and building back better – including making vaccinations available to everyone, everywhere; solving the oxygen crisis; financing health security, and more. Representatives from businesses, foundations, and civil society joined global leaders at the Summit. Some of those leaders announced coalitions to combine funds, expertise, and capacity to help realize specific challenges within each of the goals, for example addressing the global oxygen crisis, closing the testing gap, and ensuring vaccines are delivered and administered.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global vaccination plan to at least double vaccine production and ensure 2.3 billion doses are equitably distributed through COVAX to reach 40 percent of people in all countries by the end of this year, and 70 percent in the first half of 2022 as WHO recommends. He framed global vaccination not as philanthropy but as self-interest for all parties, emphasizing the need for low and lower-middle income countries (LMICs) to have the resources and technology to manufacture their own vaccines. He also called for better resourced and stronger global health security architecture. The United Nations will continue to support vaccine rollout in countries and communities that are hardest to reach.

World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom-Ghebreyesus emphasized the importance ofmultilateralism in addressing the disparity in vaccine access between high- and low-income countries. He praised the new U.S. vaccine commitment and called on countries to work with companies to swap places with other countries in vaccine queues, for countries to fulfill dose share pledges immediately, and for sharing the intellectual property necessary to facilitate manufacturing around the world. He observed that we owe it to those who lost their lives to build better governance, financing, systems, and tools to ensure global health security. He called on leaders to support the vaccination of at least 40 percent of the population of every country by the end of this year and 70 percent by mid-2022. He also called on those who control existing vaccine supplies to ensure that 2 billion doses are provided rapidly to LMICs in order to begin meeting these targets, as the Secretary General highlighted.

Republic of South Africa’s President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the risks of not reaching the vaccination targets set out in the Summit, and discussed how the pandemic exacerbates the global vaccine gap and the ways it undermines global health security. He also affirmed the importance of enabling countries to do their own vaccine manufacturing and procurement, and called on WTO member states to approve the TRIPS waiver proposal from South Africa, India, and other co-sponsors. He shared the African Union’s impactful work in hosting the first mRNA tech transfer on the African continent, then called for a sustainable plan to support LMICs through technology and finance to meet vaccine targets. He also supported the establishment of a global health security financial intermediary fund for pandemic preparedness, a Global Health Threats Council, and Secretary-General Guterres’ proposal for a global vaccination plan.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described the pandemic as one of the most pressing societal challenges we have ever faced. To help address this challenge, she announced a new European Union partnership with the United States to help vaccinate the world with a joint objective of a 70 percent global vaccination rate by UNGA 2022. The EU-U.S. global vaccination partnership seeks to expand supply and improve delivery while managing constraints to supply chains. This partnership will seek to boost vaccine production in LMICs and coordinate investments to build regional manufacturing. The EU is investing more than €1 billion with partners in Africa and the pharmaceutical sector to bring mRNA technology to the continent beginning with hubs in South Africa, and Senegal, and Rwanda. She reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to share more than 500 million doses by the middle of next year, and the EU commitment that every second dose of vaccine produced in Europe is shipped abroad (to date, 800 million doses). President von der Leyen also committed that the EU will work with the United States and within the G20 to establish a global health security FIF to help build a healthy and secure future.

Republic of Indonesia President Joko Widodo called for the strengthening of theglobal health architecture and for a new mechanism to mobilize resources. He articulated the need for LMICs to be part of the solution, by enhancing capacity to manufacture of vaccines, medicines, and supplies. He appealed for an end to vaccine nationalism, and said Indonesia as G20 chair next year will focus on strengthening the global health security architecture and preparing for future challenges.

World Trade Organization Director-General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala noted the urgency of preventing more people from dying in poor countries due to lack of access to lifesaving vaccines and other medical countermeasures. She emphasized the risk of the pandemic to economic recovery, if slow vaccination progress allows the emergence of even more dangerous variants, saying, “Either we converge downwards by allowing the virus to drag all of us back down, or we converge upwards by vaccinating the world.” She noted the centrality of trade in this effort, and she provided the example of the Pfizer- BioNTech and Moderna vaccines requiring inputs from nineteen countries. She reiterated the importance of the WTO’s work to reduce export restrictions, address supply bottlenecks, and smooth regulatory obstacles. She called on industry to donate doses and swap contracts so that COVAX and less advantaged countries can move up in the queue and receive supplies for distribution. She urged leaders to find pragmatic compromises on intellectual property rules for COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, and she underscored the need for cooperative action to ensure a stable, predictable and fair multilateral trading system.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated Canada’s commitment to being a trusted partner, and emphasized the target of equitably vaccinating 70 percent of the world by next September and both to protect the world’s population and ensure economic recovery. He called for a focus on vaccine readiness and delivery, and to increase the production and supply of shots. He outlined Canada’s contributions of more than $2.5 billion, including investing to share tens of millions of doses with the rest of the world and support the ACT Accelerator and COVAX. He referenced Canada’s interest in developing domestic vaccine production capacity, which would help Canada to help the world. He expressed support for working through the WTO to resolve intellectual property issues and also called for strengthened global health security infrastructure over the long term by investing in shared health institutions and strengthening global cooperation.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Chief Executive Officer Dr. Seth Berkley outlined COVAX’s leadership of the most complex, global vaccine deployment in history, which has – to date — shipped more than 300 million doses to 142 economies. He also said by the end of the year, COVAX seeks to deliver enough doses to protect about 40 percent of the adult population in the 92 lower income countries. 800 million doses have already been committed through COVAX, with 119 million received and delivered. He called leaders’ attention to serious obstacles and unacceptable inequalities in the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and he thanked President Biden for the new U.S. commitment to donate of 500 million additional doses of Pfizer vaccine, as well as embraced the ambitious summit goal of vaccinating the world and accelerating vaccination in lower income countries. He urged leaders to provide more doses, remove export restrictions, leverage innovative financing and contingency funding to support surge manufacturing capacity, give up their place in production queues to COVAX where possible, and for vaccine manufacturers to commit to greater transparency on orders and delivery timelines, and asked them to waive requirements for indemnification for the humanitarian buffer.

President Biden and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield closed the session by thanking participants and reiterating the goal of ending the pandemic, which will require ambitious, coordinated global action. President Biden noted we should set targets that require us to aim high, follow through on our commitments, and hold each other accountable in order to end this pandemic for everyone, everywhere. He concluded by noting this won’t be our last meeting.

Session I. Video Interventions

• King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (video)

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Republic of India (video)

• Chancellor Angela Merkel, Federal Republic of Germany (video)

• Bill Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (video)

Session 2. Saving Lives Now

USAID Administrator Samantha Power chaired the session, which was focused on ensuring equal access to the testing, therapeutics, and personal protective equipment that help prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19. She pointed out that even as the world focuses on the goal of achieving 70 percent vaccination, we must – at the same time – come together to ensure countries have the PPE to keep health workers safe, supply oxygen to treat people with COVID, and close the testing gap. She announced an intention to commit $50 million to increase access to oxygen in countries around the world, and that USAID would work to build a multi-sectoral coalition to coordinate global investment in oxygen access.

Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Rajiv Shah moderated the session. In his framing remarks, he reinforced the importance of the Save Lives Now agenda to helping communities and economies reopen safely amidst the pandemic. He highlighted the Rockefeller Foundation’s investment of $1 billion for pandemic response, recovery, and prevention, and announced a group of 18 diagnostic companies that are convening with the help of the Foundation to commit to expanding COVID-19 testing around the world.

Vietnam’s President Nguy?n Xuân Phúc noted the toll the pandemic has taken on ASEAN members and expressed support for the goals set out by President Biden, including the creation of a global health security fund and increased vaccine production in developing countries. He emphasized the importance of early detection and public health measures, as well as treatment and large-scale vaccination, in responding to and ending the pandemic. President Phúc noted the need to improve global cooperation and take a systemic approach, including transforming health systems and industries that produce pharmaceuticals and supplies, particularly in developing countries. He noted that Vietnam donated $500,000 to COVAX and will continue to contribute, and that Vietnam and fellow ASEAN countries have used $10.5 million from a joint COVID-19 Response Fund to purchase vaccines.

Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Dr. Carissa Etienne emphasized that COVID-19 has particularly highlighted inequities in the Americas, and explained the path to recovery will only be through an equitable approach, with a focus on resilient, high-quality health systems for all. She discussed the challenges faced by people living in poverty in following public health measures, and the particular burdens on those in the informal economy, indigenous communities, Afro descendent populations and migrants. Dr. Etienne spoke about PAHO’s delivery of 33 million COVID tests and more than $14 million worth of PPE to countries, and announced that, along with WHO, PAHO had identified two countries to initiate a mRNA vaccine manufacturing hub in the Americas.

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria Executive Director Peter Sands endorsed the Save Lives Now targets, noting that while vaccines are the most potent weapon against COVID-19, ending the pandemic will require stepped-up support to LMICS for testing, treatment, and PPE, as well as critical infection prevention and control. He noted that the Global Fund, which is the largest provider of grants to LMICS for non-vaccine COVID response, has already approved more than $3.6 billion to over 100 countries, including $478 million for oxygen equipment and supplies, $815 million for diagnostics, and $745 million for PPE. However, at a time when we must scale up these responses, Sands said that current funding will be exhausted by the end of the month, and urged increased investment in this critical response mechanism.

Skoll Foundation CEO Don Gips discussed the role of philanthropy in taking risks, supporting civil society, testing out solutions that government can adopt, and connecting civil society and government– all important components of an all-society response to COVID-19. He announced that Skoll Foundation founder Jeff Skoll has prioritized ending the pandemic and will build on the Foundation’s previous $100 million commitment with an additional $100 million to support Summit objectives, with a focus on saving lives now – particularly oxygen – and building strong health and preparedness systems for the future as a global public good. Part of their investment will support Build Health International, which will increase medical oxygen supplies in Africa. Mr. Gips emphasized the importance of alignment and coordination around a global plan to end the pandemic, saying that the success of global COVID-19 response will be an indication of our ability to tackle other complex, interconnected global problems.

Mastercard Foundation President and CEO Reeta Roy emphasized that achieving global health security requires bold and simultaneous action on all fronts. She also highlighted that we are all interconnected, and that there is no global health security without regional health security. She noted that African leaders have mobilized a collective response to the pandemic, and that the next step is to manufacture vaccines on the continent. Ms. Roy focused on African public health institutions, and expressed support for the Africa CDC’s efforts to achieve sustainable public health, detailing the Foundation’s $1.3 billion partnership with Africa CDC to purchase vaccines for 50 million people; equipping health care workers, encouraging vaccine acceptance, and increasing genomic sequencing; developing the workforce to manufacture vaccines in Africa; and strengthening the Africa CDC. She appealed to funders to support existing public health institutions.

Amref Health Africa CEO Dr. Githinji Gitahi reminded attendees of the way COVID-19 affects individual people, including those lacking oxygen treatment and health workers who lack PPE. He pointed out that the toll of COVID-19 is much larger than what has been officially counted, due to the number of people in underserved areas dying at home without treatment. He noted that saving lives now requires making connections between the global mechanisms with resources and people in affected communities and includes strengthening health systems to respond at the local level, with a focus on community ownership and accountability. He emphasized the importance of grant funding rather than loans and stressed the need to invest quickly in local systems and existing mechanisms.

Moderator Dr. Shah asked each panelist to comment briefly on the single most important thing needed to ensure we save lives now, equitably. Dr. Etienne replied with an emphasis on adequate tools to predict, prevent, and protect against COVID, as well as expanding regional vaccine production. Mr. Sands advised to “act now; act big.” Mr. Gips advocated for a coordinated global plan with real political commitment. Ms. Roy advocated for including everyone at the table to ensure an equitable response, including those hardest hit: “We act in our self-interest when we act together.” Mr.D Gitahi advised that rich countries take a step back from the vaccine queue to allow COVAX to access more, and that we strengthen existing mechanisms before building new ones.

Administrator Power closed the session by noting that we have the ability to ramp up testing, improve availability of PPE, and develop sufficient oxygen capacity to treat those in need. She advised that today’s Summit should be the start of a more coordinated effort to save lives that would be lost without our support.

Session II. Video Interventions

• Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide Japan (video)

• Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand (video)

• Tom Ford, ONE Campaign (video)

• Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Sweden (video)

• Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh (video)

Session 3. Building Back Better Global Health Security

Vice President Kamala Harris chaired the session, which was focused on building back better global health security to mitigate future biological threats and pandemics. She pointed out that nations need greater capacity now, and the world as a whole must be ready before, not after, the next pandemic. Vice President Harris issued a clear call to action to establish a global health security financial intermediary fund (FIF) to bring together new resources for pandemic preparedness, with an initial goal of reaching $10 billion in seed funding for country and corporations. She announced that the United States is prepared to contribute at least $250 million to help seed the FIF. Those funds will combat this pandemic while helping prevent the next, with an additional $850 million requested from the U.S. Congress. She also called for greater political leadership and accountability, calling for the establishment of a Global Health Threats Council to monitor progress and sound the alarm to prevent future pandemics.

Loyce Pace, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Global Affairs Director, moderated the panel with an emphasis on urgency and equity of the global response.

Prime Minister Solberg of Norway reiterated Vice President Harris’ perspective that we were not sufficiently prepared, and that we must transform ad-hoc solutions for the future. She also called for predictable health security financing, a future health security fund, and burden-sharing as an approach to funding for it. She stressed the importance of assistance beyond official development assistance, emphasized health security as a global public good, and stressed the need to strengthen WHO financing in parallel. She also strongly supported achieving global early warning networks to detect and respond to outbreaks early, research and development on vaccines, tests and treatment, with accessible technologies to all and regional production capacity, with universal equitable access. She emphasized that Norway stands ready to do its part.

Prime Minister Gaston Alphonso Browne, Antigua and Barbuda, Chair of the Conference of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) stated that CARICOM governments are committed to the 70% global vaccination target by September 2022, including in their own governments. He discussed his resolve to strengthen the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and called for international partnership. In discussing the goal of building back better, Prime Minister Browne reiterated that recovering from economic effects will be protracted because economic progress has been reversed. He discussed the importance of global public goods and the need to build health infrastructure, and stressed that none of us are safe until all of us are safe.

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Republic of Singapore and Co-chair of the G20 High Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response focused on the need for substantially more investments in pandemic preparedness. He spoke of collective investments in areas such as global networks of surveillance and early warning, health security and public health capacities at national and regional level, and vaccines and critical medical supplies. He called for urgent establishment of a new multilateral Fund of $10 billion per year, less than 0.02 percent of most national GDPs, which could catalyze public, private, and philanthropic sources, besides domestic investments within nations. He also stressed the importance of an inclusive G20-Plus Board for governance, comprising health and finance ministers, and the leaders of the WHO and the other key multilateral institutions. He ended by noting, “It will be both morally indefensible and financially myopic to defer these investments or wait for the next pandemic to overwhelm us.”

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and Co-Chair of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR) called on the UN General Assembly to hold a Special Session to approve a political declaration on the reforms required for pandemic preparedness and response, including to establish a Global Health Threats Council led by Heads of State and Government, representative of the world’s regions, and focused on both accountability and political leadership. She noted the IPPPR’s call for an International Pandemic Financing Facility to mobilize $10 billion per year and disbursements of up to $100 billion for biological crises, and commended the United States’ call for a FIF with seed contribution. She expressed concerns about the severe inequality in vaccine availability and access (50-80 per cent of wealthy populations, with only 5 per cent in poorer countries), commended efforts to redistribute surplus vaccines to the 92 low-and middle-income countries, as well as technology transfers and voluntary licensing agreements for vaccine manufacturers. Finally, she called for adequate financing to the WHO, support for community health workers as a hallmark of the COVID19 response, and the burden COVID-19 has placed on women and girls. “It is clear that the current international system failed to protect us all from this catastrophic pandemic—and it is not fit to prevent another.”

Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called for a “reset” button” on architecture for global health security, recognizing that this starts at the national, then regional, then global levels. Reflecting on urgent needs, Dr. Nkengasong pointed to the need for scaling up the workforce and frontline health workers – in order to be better prepared for the next pandemic. He discussed the need for all countries to house their own Centers for Disease Control that can serve as an emergency operation center, strengthen laboratory systems, and train the workforce. With regards to lessons learned from this pandemic, Dr. Nkengasong raised regional manufacturing and the gap between African manufacturing and African consumption of vaccines. Finally he called for innovative financing at the global and regional level, and that funding needs predictability, sustainability, and rapid access.

Chief Executive Officer Marcel Arsenault, PAX sapiens, One Earth Future Foundation, stated that COVID-19 was our “dress rehearsal” for a far more devastating pandemic. He reiterated that an effective plan and implementation will require the whole of global society to join together. In that regard, he spoke to the role of philanthropies can play since they operate by more flexible rules than government, including their capacity for long term commitments. He announced a new $200 million commitment to help future pandemics, to partner with other donors and global institutions to build a better global system. Mr. Arsenault also committed to convene other donors and experts to finance pandemic preparedness and explore creative financing mechanisms outside of transitional development assistance. He also applauded the call by Vice President Harris to establish a FIF.

Director Pace closed the session by highlighting the importance of global action toward “predictable, sustainable financing” allocated equitably to the most urgent needs and rooted in regional or local community perspectives. She emphasized the opportunity to mobilize public and private sector funds through multisector collaboration, and stressed the value of high-level political engagement and oversight.

Session III. Video Interventions

• President Moon Jae-in, Republic of Korea (video)

• Carolyn Reynolds, Pandemic Action Network (video)

• Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia (video)

• Dr. Roopa Dhatt, Women in Global Health (video)

• Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Spain (video)

• Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh (video)

Session 4. Closing of Summit

Coordinator for Global COVID-19 Response and Health Security Gayle Smith moderated the panel and focused on creating momentum, checking our progress, and constantly doing more. She asked G20 President Prime Minister Draghi to share a preview of the G20 Summit and areas in need of additional support.

Secretary Blinken announced called on leaders to end the pandemic rather than just “doing better,” and announced his intent to personally convene foreign ministers before the end of the year to follow up with commitments made at the Summit, as well as the G20. He reiterated President Biden’s call for heads of state to reconvene on this issue in the first quarter of 2022. He also called for a multilateral leaders task force made up of experts from inside and outside the government to transparently and rigorously evaluate progress in the run-up to the G20 and at regular intervals thereafter.

He stressed the target of vaccinating at least 70% of the population of every country, in every major income category, by UNGA 2022 and called on leaders to set ambitious targets with timelines that are openly tracked for progress and with accountability. He reiterated the United States’ willingness to lead, President Biden’s commitment to supply an additional 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and his commitment to work with global vaccine manufacturers to expand global and regional manufacturing for mRNA, viral vector, and protein subunit COVID-19 vaccines, as well as pledged to enhance transparency for the data on production and projections for dose manufacturing.

He also called on leaders to accelerate efforts to get more shots into arms, to reduce morbidity and mortality from the virus, to expand access to oxygen, testing, and more, building on historic support for Gavi and the Global Fund, aid to countries and communities through USAID and the CDC, Treasury Secretary Yellen’s call to action on Special Drawing Rights, and U.S. support for a waiver of intellectual property protections in the WTO TRIPS Agreement for COVID-19 vaccines in service of ending this pandemic. Finally, he recognized community and healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic, noting that the people are what’s critical to winning the fight against COVID-19. “It comes down to us. What we do in this critical moment, in the weeks ahead, in the months ahead.”

Prime Minister Mario Draghi of the Italian Republic addressed the Summit and announced a new commitment that will triple Italy’s existing dose donation pledge by providing 30 million additional doses by the end of the year. These are in addition to the 15 million doses pledged for donation, largely through COVAX, during the G20 Global Health Summit of which nearly half have been distributed to date. He called on leaders, as they work to end this pandemic, to also improve preparation for future pandemics, including by expanding the production capacity of vaccines and other medical tools worldwide – especially in the most vulnerable countries. He welcomed the U.S. proposal to establish a FIF for health security and stressed that it is fully complementary with the G20 proposal for a Global Health and Finance Board. He recalled the G20 Health Summit Rome Declaration and progress achieved since that time, including more than 2.5 million fully vaccinated worldwide. However, he stressed the grave inequalities in vaccine availability and emphasized the ACT-Accelerator and COVAX as the most effective ways to deliver and build capacity to administer. He asked countries to stand by existing pledges and make more generous ones and gave support to the EU plan to develop regional manufacturing hubs in Africa, and the U.S.-EU global vaccination partnership that launched this week. Finally, he committed that the G20 Summit will build on the outcomes from today’s summit.

Ms. Zipporah Iregi of the National Nurses Association of Kenya called on leaders to support healthcare workers and include them in decision-making. She thanked leaders for committing to these targets to save lives, vaccinate people, and build back better. She also provided insight for leaders into the plight of healthcare workers serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. She recounted staying home at the beginning of the pandemic, watching peers explore other careers. She urged leaders to support healthcare workers and help them to be prepared for the next crisis. She welcomed the U.S. announcement of additional vaccine sharing. She expressed concerns about impending shortages of healthcare workers and called on leaders to support and recruit more healthcare workers, including ensuring they are paid on time and provided with personal protective equipment that is necessary to provide care.

Mr. Lwazi Mlaba a COVID-19 Survivor and Global Health and Global Fund Champion, provided final remarks for the Summit, sharing his personal journey with long COVID and advocating for urgency to strengthen community assistance and support investments to expand community healthcare workers. He noted that his survival depended on them. He called for Universal Health Coverage and for global solidarity and leadership to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. He ended by saying, powerfully, “We know what we need to do. We know how we need to do it. The time has come to actually do it. Invest now, invest big. Let’s go now and do it.”

Summit Participants

More than 100 governments and other partners participated in the President Biden’s Global COVID-19 Summit on September 22, 2021.

Principality of Andorra; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentine Republic; Republic of Armenia; Commonwealth of Australia; Republic of Austria; Commonwealth of The Bahamas; Kingdom of Bahrain; People’s Republic of Bangladesh; Barbados; Kingdom of Belgium; Belize; Kingdom of Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Republic of Botswana; Brunei Darussalam; Kingdom of Cambodia; Republic of Cameroon; Canada; Republic of Chile; Republic of Colombia; Republic of Cote d’Ivoire; Republic of Croatia; Czech Republic; Kingdom of Denmark; Commonwealth of Dominica; Arab Republic of Egypt; Republic of Estonia; Kingdom of Eswatini; Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; European Commission; Republic of Finland; Gabonese Republic; Georgia; Federal Republic of Germany; Republic of Ghana; Hellenic Republic (Greece); Grenada; Republic of Guatemala; Republic of Guinea-Bissau; Cooperative Republic of Guyana; Republic of Haiti; Republic of Iceland; Republic of India; Republic of Indonesia; Ireland; State of Israel; Italian Republic; Jamaica; Japan; Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Republic of Kazakhstan; Republic of Kenya; Republic of Kiribati; Republic of Korea; Republic of Kosovo; Kyrgyz Republic; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Republic of Latvia; State of Libya; Republic of Lithuania; Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; Republic of Malawi; Malaysia; Republic of Malta; Republic of Mauritius; Federated States of Micronesia; Republic of Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Kingdom of Morocco; Republic of Mozambique; Republic of Namibia; Nepal; Kingdom of the Netherlands; New Zealand; Federal Republic of Nigeria; Republic of North Macedonia; Kingdom of Norway; Sultanate of Oman; Islamic Republic of Pakistan; Republic of Palau; Palestinian Authority; Republic of Peru; Republic of the Philippines; Republic of Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Republic of Serbia; Republic of Sierra Leone; Republic of Singapore; Federal Republic of Somalia; Republic of South Africa; Kingdom of Spain; Sri Lanka; Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis; Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; St Vincent and Grenadines; Republic of the Sudan; Republic of Suriname; Kingdom of Sweden; Swiss Confederation; Taiwan; Kingdom of Thailand; Togolese Republic; Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Republic of Tunisia; Republic of Turkey; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; United Nations General Assembly (Republic of Maldives); Republic of Uzbekistan; Republic of Vanuatu; Socialist Republic of Vietnam; Republic of Yemen; Republic of Zambia; Zimbabwe

International Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Private Sector, and Philanthropies

More than 100 International Organizations, non-governmental organizations, private sector, and philanthropies participated in the President Biden’s Global COVID-19 Summit on September 22, 2021.

Abbott; Access Bio; AdvaMedDX; Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (AFRO); African Development Bank; African Union; Alphabet Inc.; American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico; American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa; American Clinical Laboratory Association; American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; Amref Health Africa; American Public Health Association; Asian Development Bank; Association of Public Health Laboratories; Association of Southeast Asian Nations; Becton, Dickinson and Company; Biotechnology Innovation Organization; Boston Consulting Group; CARE; Caribbean Public Health Agency; The Carter Center; CDC Foundation; Center for Supporting Community; Core Group; Development Initiatives; Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations; The Clinton Foundation; Clinton Health Access Initiative; CORE Group; COVID Collaborative; Danaher Corporation; Deloitte; Emory University; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Friends of the Global Fight; The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Ginkgo Bioworks; Global Citizen; Global Communities; The Global Fund; Global Poverty Project; Global Health Council; Global Health Technologies Coalition; Health GAP; Hologic, Inc.; International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations; International Monetary Fund; InterAction; International Air Transport Association; International Atomic Energy Agency; International Civil Aviation Organization; International Committee of the Red Cross; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; International Maritime Organization ; International Organization for Migration; International Vaccine Institute; IntraHealth International; Johnson & Johnson; Jubilee; LEGO Foundation; JustActions; LumiraDx; Marked by COVID; Mastercard Foundation; Matahari Global Solutions; Mayo Clinic Laboratories; McKinsey & Company; Merck Group; MilliporeSigma; National Nurses Association of Kenya; NETWORK for Catholic Social Justice; Nuclear Threat Initiative; ONE Campaign; One Earth Future Foundation; Open Society Foundations; OraSure Technologies; Oxfam America; Pan American Health Organization; Pandefense Advisory; Pandemic Action Network; PATH; PerkinElmer; Pfizer Inc.; Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; Public Citizen; Public Health Foundation of India; QIAGEN; Roche; The Rockefeller Foundation; Sabin Vaccine Institute; SalivaDirect at the Yale School of Public Health; Save the Children; Schmidt Futures; Seed Global Health; The Skoll Foundation; Sustainable Energy for All; Thermo Fisher Scientific; United States Chamber of Commerce; United Nations Foundation; Unitaid; United Nations Children’s Fund; United Nations Environment Programme; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; United Parcel Service; The United States Global Leadership Coalition ; World Health Organization; Women in Global Health; World Bank Group; World Food Programme; WOTE Kenya; World Trade Organization

Source: The White House

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New commitments at UN energy summit a major stride towards affordable and clean energy, but much work ahead to halve energy access gap by 2025

New York — New multi-billion-dollar commitments to increase renewables and access to electricity and clean cooking technologies were announced today at a critical UN energy summit aimed at boosting efforts to reduce the ranks of nearly 800 million people living without electricity and the 2.6 billion people living without access to clean cooking while setting the world on a trajectory towards net-zero-emissions by 2050.

More than US$400 billion in new finance and investment was committed by governments and the private sector during the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy, the first leader-level meeting on energy under the auspices of the UN General Assembly in 40 years.

Over 35 countries — ranging from Small Island Developing States to major emerging and industrialized economies — made significant new energy commitments in the form of Energy Compacts. Additionally, several new partnership initiatives were announced, aiming to provide and improve access to reliable electricity to over a billion people.

The new commitments would result in large increases in the installed capacity of renewable energy and significant improvements in energy efficiency around the world — leading to hundreds of new renewable energy facilities and the creation of millions of new green jobs.

The energy summit took place as world leaders grapple with the critical urgency to keep the 1.5 degrees temperature target of the Paris Agreement within reach, and cut emissions by 45% by 2030, while closing the energy access gap and providing more than one billion people who currently rely on harmful fuels with clean cooking solutions. The new commitments showcase the bold actions needed to meet the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7).

A ROADMAP TO 2030

In addition to the announcements of commitments, the Dialogue will also produce a global roadmap for action and timelines needed through 2030 to meet the targets for clean, affordable energy for all set out in Sustainable Development Goal 7, towards net-zero emissions by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The roadmap, which will be presented in the summary of the Dialogue by the Secretary-General, will call on governments, businesses and civil society organizations to close the energy access gap by 2030, and accelerate the clean energy transition by tripling investments in clean energy and energy efficiency by 2030. It also calls for phasing out coal by 2030 for OECD countries and 2040 for all others, and shifting fossil fuel subsidies to renewable energy investments, while creating new decent and healthy jobs and ensuring a just, inclusive transition. The roadmap draws on inputs from expert working groups and was discussed at Ministerial-level forums in June.

Recent reports from the IPCC and UNFCCC have shown that countries are not moving fast enough on climate action to avert disastrous consequences, and that even if countries met all their NDC commitments under the Paris Agreement, the collective impact would be only a fraction of what is needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In addition to mobilizing voluntary commitments, the Energy Compacts can help by encouraging countries to outline the detailed set of energy actions that they have planned to meet their targets and providing an avenue to build partnerships and resources. By engaging business, foundations, civil society organizations and other key players, the Compacts are advancing concrete multi-stakeholder solutions and partnerships needed to achieve greater impact.

FINANCE AND INVESTMENT

More than 150 Energy Compacts from national and local governments, businesses, foundations and international, civil society and youth organizations from every region were submitted for the Dialogue, reflecting actions and finance commitments through 2030.

Clean energy funding committed by national governments and the private sector in these Compacts amounted to more than $400 billion for access and transition. On top of this, several foundations and industry associations aimed to leverage large amounts of additional finance for SDG 7.

On energy access, national governments committed to provide reliable electricity to over 166 million people worldwide; private companies pledged to reach just over 200 million people; and a number of foundations and business associations promised to pursue partnerships to reach hundreds of millions of additional people.

Presently, close to 760 million people still lack access to electricity and some 2.6 billion people lack access to clean cooking solutions. It is estimated that the cost of closing the energy access gap is about $35 billion dollars a year for electricity access and $25 billion dollars a year for clean cooking. The annual investment in clean energy and energy efficiency required to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 is estimated to be $4.4 trillion.

BOOST RENEWABLES AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Commitments under the Energy Compacts could also give a huge boost to renewable energy worldwide. National governments committed to install an additional 698 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy from solar, wind, geothermal, hydro and renewables-based hydrogen, and businesses, notably power utilities, pledged to install an additional 823 GW, all by 2030. Several partnerships and industry associations promised to mobilize an additional 3500 GW of renewables by 2030. One gigawatt is roughly equivalent to the output of 500 onshore wind turbines. The Energy Compacts also include commitments to save energy equivalent to more than 7000 GW by implementing efficiency measures.

The production and use of energy is also the main cause of the climate crisis, accounting for about 75 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions and making decarbonization of the energy system essential.

A SIGNAL OF WHAT IS POSSIBLE

“The commitments coming through this process led by UN-Energy are a real signal of what is possible,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “I am pleased to see several of the major emitters – countries and sectors – demonstrating leadership through the High-Level Dialogue process along with bold commitments to act.”

“Access to clean, renewable energy is, quite simply, the difference between life and death,” he added. “We must solve these challenges this decade. And we must start today. Without deep and rapid decarbonization of our energy systems over the next 10 years, we will not reach the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. This will be fatal to the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“So we have a double imperative,” the Secretary-General said. “To end energy poverty and to limit climate change. And we have an answer that will fulfil both imperatives. Affordable, renewable and sustainable energy for all.”

Mr. Guterres also called for closing the energy access gap by 2030. “That means cutting in half the number of people without access to electricity by reaching 500 million people by 2025. And it means providing over 1 billion people with access to clean cooking solutions by 2025.“

THE WAY FORWARD

In line with the need to continue raising ambition, additional Energy Compacts are expected to be registered in the months ahead, including in the lead-up to the November Climate COP 26, as momentum grows and partnerships are expanded. Progress on the Compacts will be tracked through the 2030 target year, with annual reporting through a publicly transparent online database.

Under the leadership of its Co-Chairs, Achim Steiner, Administrator of UNDP, and Damilola Ogunbiyi, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, who have also served as Co-Chairs of the High-level Dialogue, UN-Energy will continue to spearhead transformational commitments and partnerships and sustain the momentum created by the Dialogue, including the Energy Compacts. UN-Energy brings together over 25 UN System entities and key partners for collaboration in the field of energy. Serving as the Secretariat for UN-Energy is UN DESA, under the leadership of Under-Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin, who also served as Dialogue Secretary-General. Given the global challenges at hand, UN-Energy will be further strengthened to help translate the global roadmap into concrete actions.

ENERGY COMPACTS submitted for the High-level Dialogue include the following:

GOVERNMENTS AND PARTNERS

• Denmark committed to reduce national CO2-emissions by 70% in 2030 (compared to 1990), have 100% of electricity from renewable energy by 2028, up-scale offshore wind by potentially up to 12 GW, phase out oil and gas extraction by 2050 and immediately end new licensing rounds; and increase climate finance to at least 500 million USD annually by 2023.

• Germany aims to reach a 30% share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption by 2030 and increase the proportion of renewable energy in total electricity consumption to 65% by 2030, as well as supporting partner countries in expanding use of decentralized energy and innovative technologies such as green hydrogen and PtX. It will also provide 7 billion euros for speeding up the market rollout of hydrogen technology in Germany and another 2 billion euros for fostering international partnerships.

• India committed to increase renewable energy installed capacity to 450 GW by 2030, develop and implement a National Hydrogen Energy Mission to scale up annual green hydrogen production to ~1 MT by 2030, begin a Production Linked Incentive Scheme to add 10 GW solar PV manufacturing capacity by 2025, create 15 MMT production capacity of compressed biogas (CBG) by 2024, achieve 20% ethanol blending in petrol by Ethanol Supply Year 2025-26 and enhance energy efficiency in agriculture, buildings, industry and transport sectors and promote energy-efficient appliances/equipment to reduce India’s emissions intensity of GDP by 33-35% over 2005 levels by 2030.

• For Latin America and the Caribbean, the RELAC Energy Compact commits that 70% of the installed capacity and electricity generation in the region will be from renewable energies by 2030. Governments participating include: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

• The Pacific island nation of Nauru pledged to achieve 50% electricity generation from renewable sources by 2023 and a 30% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030, from a 2021 baseline, noting that full implementation of this Compact requires technical and financial support.

• Malawi, conditional on climate finance, targets to achieve universal access to cleaner cooking for households & institutions, phasing out open fires by 2030, with 2 million cleaner cookstoves reached 2021-2025 and an investment of more than $596 million.

• The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as over 25 Dutch businesses, NGOs and foundations will support access to clean cooking for 45 million people, access to electricity based on renewable energy for 100 million people, and a doubling of job opportunities in the energy transition for women and youth, all by 2030.

• Nigeria committed to electrify 25 million people across 5 million homes by 2023 using solar technologies and creating 250,000 jobs, and also to giving 30 million homes access to clean cooking and energizing agriculture, textile production, cold storage etc. using gas as a transition fuel.

• Sierra Leone’s commitments included: to increase the use of LPG to an adoption rate of 25% as an alternative to wood, ensure that all households have access to energy-saving cooking solutions, and Increase the efficiency of most biomass stoves to a minimum of 20% (Tier 2 stove efficiency).

• The United Arab Emirates commits to provide 100% of the UAE population with access to electricity by 2030 and primary reliance on clean fuels and technologies for cooking by 2030. • UAE also commits to generate 2.5 GW from solar energy in the building sector by 2030.

• The United States commits to creating 35 million new electrical connections for households and businesses by 2030, as well as 80% of the US electricity power generation coming from clean sources. The US Government also put forward commitments to decarbonize the DFC investment portfolio and mobilize USD $25 billion in public sector commitments from Power Africa’s development partners and development institutions.

PRIVATE SECTOR

• Enel said it would reach 5.6 million new electricity connections by 2030, speed up its coal phase-out to 2027, triple renewable energy generation to 145GW by 2030 and provide more than 4 million EV charging points and 10,000 electric buses by 2030.

• The Spanish utility Iberdrola committed to double renewable capacity to 60 GW by 2025 and to provide access to electricity to 16 million people in emerging countries by 2030.

• The Italian company Graded SpA committed to invest 1.000.000 € in renewable energy, particularly in green-hydrogen development.

FOUNDATIONS AND COALITION-BASED ENERGY COMPACTS

• The Rockefeller Foundation announced that it was committing $1 billion in philanthropic capital, in partnership with the IKEA Foundation, to scale the distributed renewable energy sector in support of ending energy poverty and combatting the climate crisis. A new platform would aim to empower one billion people with access to reliable, distributed renewably energy and reduce global GHG emissions by up to one billion tons annually.

• The Health Facility Electrification Compact aims to provide 25,000 health facilities with sustainable access to a clean and reliable power source by 2025. Partners include: USAID/Power Africa, Shell Foundation, SEforALL, UNDP, UNICEF, IRENA, Denmark, GAVI, Power for All, Clinton Health Access Initiative, SELCO Foundation.

• The 24/7 Carbon Free Energy (CFE) Compact, led by Google and in partnership with a group of energy buyers and suppliers including governments, aims to transform global electricity grids to “absolute zero” or full decarbonization. Signatories commit to adopting and enabling 24/7 CFE, which means that every kilowatt-hour of electricity consumption is met with carbon-free electricity sources, every hour of every day, everywhere.

• The No New Coal compact includes the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; Republic of Chile; Kingdom of Denmark; French Republic Federal Republic of Germany; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and Montenegro committed to a No New Coal Compact, immediately ceasing issuance of new permits for unabated coal-fired power generation projects and cease new construction of unabated coal-fired power generation projects as of the end of 2021.

• The Green Hydrogen Catalogue so far consists of 29 Energy Compacts from governments, intergovernmental organizations, businesses and coalitions, with more expected. Commitments total 268 GW of new renewable energy capacity and 129 GW of new electrolyzer capacity by 2030, and will effect more than 25 million tonnes of green hydrogen.

• An Offshore Wind Energy Compact, submitted by IRENA and the Global Wind Energy Council, committed to achieve 380 GW of offshore wind, including fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind, installed worldwide by 2030, and 2,000GW by 2050.

• A Gender and Energy Compact was initiated by ENERGIA, GWNET and UNIDO, with Ecuador, Iceland, Kenya, Nepal and Sweden (SIDA) as government partners along with some 30 civil society and international organizations. The Compact aims for women to have equal opportunity to lead, participate in and benefit from a just energy transition, and to have equal access to and control over sustainable energy products and services, setting targets to achieve those outcomes

Source: UNDP

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Kenya: IPC Acute Food Insecurity Analysis and Acute Malnutrition Analysis (July 2021 – January 2022) Issued in September 2021

An estimated 2.1 million people (14% of the population in Arid and SemiArid Lands (ASAL)) are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) between July and October 2021. Compared to the same period in 2020, there is a 34 percent increase (by over 700,000 people) of people classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4). The deterioration and severity of food insecurity are mainly attributed to two consecutive poor performances of seasonal rainfall.

The majority of these populations are in eight counties: Baringo, Garissa, Isiolo, Mandera, Marsabit, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir, which are regions with predominantly pastoral livelihoods.

In the projection period (November 2021 to January 2022), the population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is also expected to increase from 1.8 million people to about 2 million people (13% of the population in ASAL) while the population in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is likely to slightly increase from 355,000 to 368,000. Nine counties are expected to host a significant proportion of the population in IPC Phase 3 or above.

Baringo County is expected to shift from Crisis to Stressed (IPC Phase 2), while Lamu and Kwale counties will like see a deterioration from Stressed to Crisis. This assumption is based on the likely continued poor performance of the 2021 ‘short rains’ season (OND), forecast to be below average. Overall, the food security situation will most likely worsen with an increase in the number of people experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity in counties in the ASAL region.

An estimated 652,960 children aged 6-59 months and 96,480 pregnant and lactating women require treatment of acute malnutrition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting all counties in the country, the caseload for children aged 6 to 59 months requires urgent attention. The nutrition situation has remained similar across arid counties compared to the August 2020 analysis. The malnutrition situation was Critical (IPC AMN Phase 4) in seven counties: Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Samburu,

Turkana, the North Horr & Laisamis sub-counties in Marsabit County and Tiaty in Baringo County

Source: Government of Kenya/Integrated Food Security Phase Classification

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Mombasa Hoteliers Train 600 Beach Operators

The Kenya Coast Tourism Association (KCTA) has put up efforts to remodel the tourism sector in the region by starting-up with the training of 600 beach operators.

KCTA Chairman, Victor Shitaka said 600 beach operators will graduate on Monday after completion of training on beach management.

Shitaka said that the training was on customer care, alternative livelihood activities, security on the beach among other basic skills.

“We realized that there was a lot of negative publicity on beach operators. Together with the hotels managers, we agreed that we will work with the beach operators, as they won’t go anywhere. Thus we thought of empowering them so that they can be beneficial to the sector,” said Shitaka.

The KCTA Chairman said that those trained include hairdressers, massagers and Maasai Morans.

“We will issue them with licenses to operate freely at the beach. We will also build them toilets and give them water. At the same time, they have promised to clean the beaches and help in providing security,” he added. There are around 3,000 registered beach operators in Mombasa County.

Shitaka also requested the government to provide a 24 hours economy at the beaches where tourists can go to the beaches even at night.

He noted that, although Covid-19 affected the sector, recently hotels have recorded a boom to the business as most of the hotels in the county are 60 per cent full with meetings going on.

“This is a noticeable improvement that we celebrate. With the country slowly returning to normalcy due to the Covid-19 crisis, we are optimistic that the high season will be a good one,” he said.

County Tourism, Trade and Investment Chief Officer, Asha Abdi, said that the County government of Mombasa is eager and ready to contribute resources in the striving of the tourism sector.

Abdi said that, in this year’s theme for World Tourism Day, “Tourism for Inclusive Growth” they have decided to celebrate it by showcasing various coastal traditions including coastal cuisine.

“We will have a food and art exhibition over the weekend, where foods prepared in various hotels in Mombasa will be sold at Mama Ngina drive at a subsidized amount, for our people to get a taste of what is offered at the beach hotels,” said Abdi.

Mombasa County Public Health Chief Officer, Pauline Odinga, said all is set by the health officials as they will take advantage of the weekend’s celebration, to vaccinate people against Covid-19.

Source: Kenya News Agency

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Masinde Muliro University Gets New Vice-Chancellor

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology has a new Vice- Chancellor.

Prof Solomon Shibairo has been confirmed as the Vice- Chancellor after acting in the position since 2020.

Prof Shibairo is a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics and Students Affairs of Kibabii University.

According to Dr Lydia Anyonje, the Director Corporate Communications and Marketing at the University, this appointment was made after the Public Service Commission (PSC), working with the University’s Council finalised the process of recruitment of top managers at the institution of higher learning.

Others appointed are Prof John Kuria as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration and Finance. Prof Kuria has been Vice-Chancellor, Gretsa University.

Prof Charles Mutai is now Deputy Vice- Chancellor, Planning, Research and Innovation. Prof Mutai has previously been acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor, administration and finance at the same institution.

Prof Hussein S.A Golicha becomes Deputy Vice- Chancellor, Academic and Students Affairs. He previously served as acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics, Garissa University.

Local leaders have welcomed the new appointments.

Source: Kenya News Agency

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Women Group Benefits From Chicken Rearing, Bee Keeping Training

A total of 50 women from Nadupoi women group in Olooloitokoshi, Kajiado East have benefitted from a three months training on chicken rearing, bee keeping and kitchen garden training.

The three months training was sponsored by Faraja Elatia Foundation in collaboration with the Kajiado County Government under the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

Speaking during the training, the County Chief Executive Member for Agriculture, Jackline Koin said that her department has seen it best to train the women on alternative sources of livelihood due to climate change.

“We saw it best to train the women on alternative sources of livelihood since cattle and sheep rearing which have been predominant in the area are greatly affected by drought especially now when we are experiencing climate change,” said Koin

Koin revealed that as a department, they will soon train the women on fish farming and provide them with a fish pond in a bid to introduce fish farming within the Maasai community.

In a bid to ensure that the women put into practice what they have learnt, Elatia Foundation gave them 180 chickens for them to start rearing.

The group also has an operating bee hive and Koin notes that her department will help them in getting buyers for the honey.

In matters of kitchen garden, Koin said that the proximity of Olooloitikoshi to Kitengela town is an advantage to the women farmers as they will be able to sell their vegetable produce with ease to the town dwellers.

The group’s chairlady Irene Makui, was elated on receiving the training and the chicken and thanked the agricultural department for empowering them economically.

Another farmer Joyce Sunte, noted that in Maasai culture, women are not allowed to sell cattle or sheep but now that they are rearing chicken, they can sell the chicken and eggs and have their own money.

“We are now financially empowered thanks to Elatia and the Department of agriculture as we can now earn from chicken and vegetable selling,” said Sunte.

Another Member Immaculate Ntalalai, noted that the kitchen garden training is very helpful to them as they have learnt that it is possible for them to plant their own vegetables for consumption and selling with the use of little water.

Source: Kenya News Agency

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Gov’t To Roll Out Crash Registration Programme

At least 55,122 persons are projected to be registered in Kisumu County as the country rolls out a nationwide crash registration programme ahead of the 2022 general elections.

The exercise for both civil registration and Huduma Namba is aimed at aiding the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in voter registration.

Nyanza Regional Registration Officer, George Olela told KNA yesterday that even as they prepare to roll out the next phase of mass registration, a total of 20,566 Identification Cards (IDs) are still lying uncollected in Kisumu County.

Olela said Nyando Sub County has the highest number of uncollected ID cards at 2,175 while Seme sub-county has the lowest at 679 despite persistent sensitisation through chiefs and their assistants for the owners to pick them.

He expressed optimism that because of the crash programme, the projected number of registration could be surpassed as they have done in the past, considering the forthcoming general elections and the ever increasing number of young people seeking the documents.

“We are currently mobilising resources and collecting the requisite materials from the headquarters (Nairobi) and we are set to meet all the seven sub-counties teams to brief them on what is expected of them,” Olela said.

He revealed that the exercise will be quite involving as both the civil registration and that of Huduma namba will be running concurrently.

The Regional Registration boss disclosed that at the start of October this year, the high powered team will be moving closer to the people in the sub-locations where respective chiefs and their assistants are expected to help facilitate the exercise.

However, he added, challenges of transportation was being addressed with the help of the National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) while staffing problem will be sorted by the ongoing recruitment of clerks, subordinate staffs, administrators and drivers.

“The government has also employed senior registration officers in Nairobi with two of them distributed to each of the eight regions. Kisumu like all the 47 counties have each received two of the new registration officers,” he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

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Kisumu To Hold Fashion Festival For Visual-Impaired Children

Kisumu County Government in partnership with various organizations is set to hold a fashion show for visually impaired children, in a bid to advocate for the rights of People with Disability, involvement and inclusion.

The show will bring together over 150 children from Kisumu and its environs in a bid to identify and mentor talent.

According to the founder and CEO of Angels of Sunset, Hyral Matete, the show is to give the children exposure and a platform to be involved in various fields in the community.

She said that even though there have been acts in support for the inclusion of people with disabilities, these children have been left behind and few or no programs include them.

For the first time, she said, these children will have the opportunity to choose what to wear as most of the time, the decision lies with their parents and guardians.

Matete called upon designers to come up with new ways that will help the children, to identify texture and color, which will enable them to make their own choices, when it comes to fashion.

“We should not talk about inclusion in academics, sports and employment and forget to talk about the inclusion of these people’s feelings and rights to make their own choices,” she noted.

Matete urged the community to stop the stigmatization of people with disabilities and make them part of the community.

Talking about her experience preparing the team of young models for the wonderful event, Matete says, the task has been enormous since they train modeling to blind children, who have never seen and just trying to follow the sound.

“If we keep including them, they will feel part of us, especially children and through this, they learn to live with each other,” she added.

She assured that they have put in place strict directions to ensure adherence to Covid-19 measures and ensure the safety of these kids in this time of the pandemic.

Matete further applauded different organizations like Tinada who have partnered to ensure inclusion of the disabled in the community.

The government has provided opportunities for these people to be employed and involved in projects, the organizations have come up with ways to ensure they work in a favorable and comfortable environment.

According to Executive Director, Tinada Youth Organization, Douglas Otieno, they have been advocating for five per cent employment and access to any office for the disabled.

Otieno applauded Kisumu County Government as it has surpassed the target by employing over 230 persons living with disabilities.

He said their vision is to change the mindset of the public and stakeholders regarding the disabled as a burden but rather as human beings that have rights to everything.

In addition, Otieno noted that people with disabilities in the country need assistance in terms of capacity building, support and protection.

The event will be graced at the Gates Talent Campus in Nyamasaria, Kisumu East Sub- county on Saturday, 25th September, 2021.

Source: Kenya News Agency

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Sh1.4 Billion Afri-Cities Convention Centre In Kisumu Kicks Off

Construction of the Sh 1.4 billion Afri-Cities Convention Centre in Kisumu has kicked off in earnest with organizers of the continental feat upbeat that the facility shall be ready before May next year.

Afri-Cities Secretariat Coordinator, Alloice Ager said the contractor was on course to deliver the project which is expected to host 6, 000 delegates from across the world for the conference slated for May 17-21, 2022.

Ager said the contractor was on schedule expressing optimism that the iconic centre will be completed on time.

The facility comprising the main auditorium, 15 breakaway rooms, 60 exhibition spaces, outdoor Amphitheatre, VIP lounge, cultural centre, health centre, press rooms, picnic area and a children’s park is also set to revolutionsalize conference tourism in the lake region.

Afri-cities is the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa’s (UCLGA) flagship Pan-African event that is held every three years in one of the five regions of Africa.

The event attracts communities and local authorities in African countries, as well as financial institutions, civil society groups and development partners at continental and international level.

Kisumu is the first intermediary city in Africa to host the event after a successful bid by Kenya during the 8th edition of the conference held in Marrakech, Morocco.

The conference which was supposed to be held in November this year was pushed to May next year following consultations with the Government of Kenya, the Council of Governors of Kenya and the lead partners in the organisation of the Summit.

Source: Kenya News Agency

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Mandera Residents Appeal For Special School

Education stakeholders in Mandera County are calling on government to build more Schools for the hearing impaired learners in the region, stating that there was only one such important institutions in the vast County.

The Director, Mandera County Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Yussuf Abdullahi, stressed the importance of such special institutions in helping those with hearing challenges overcome communication difficulties.

Speaking during celebration to mark this year International Day of Sign Language held at the Mandera Vocational Training Center, Mr. Abdullahi said it is crucial to have schools for the hearing impaired learners in each Sub-county to cater for the many children who need special education.

“I want to request government to consider having such institutions in every sub- county, they are important in enhancing communication with children with hearing problems,” said Abdullahi.

Asha Adan, a teacher at the Mandera School for the Deaf, urged both levels of governments to work towards having more school for the physically challenged children in the region.

She at the same time asked ask parents and guardians to ensure children with disabilities are enrolled in school.

Adan added that it’s important to create awareness on significance of sign language to the society, that enable people communicate with the hearing impaired members.

Mandera School for the Deaf has an enrollment of 26 pupils. International Day of Sign Language is celebrated September 23rd every year.

Source: Kenya News Agency

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Tajikistan

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev Receives Speaker of National Assembly of Tajikistan Rustam Emomali.

The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev received the Speaker of the National Assembly of Tajikistan, the Mayor of Dushanbe Rustam Emomali.

The officials focused on pressing issues related to bilateral cooperation, and inter-parliamentary ties between the two countries.

Emomali thanked President Tokayev for allocating a plot of land for the construction of a complex of buildings which will house the Embassy of Tajikistan in Nur-Sultan, naming a street in the Kazakh capital after Abuabdullo Rudaki.

They also paid a particular attention to trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian relations between the two nations.

Taking into account the difficult situation in Afghanistan and the new threats and challenges in the region, they noted the necessity of strengthening the military-technical cooperation to protect of the shared border with Afghanistan.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

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Celebration of the 30th anniversary of the State Independence of the Republic of Tajikistan in Istanbu

On September 23, 2021, at the initiative of the Consulate General of the Republic of Tajikistan in Istanbul, an official event dedicated to the 30th Anniversary of the State Independence of the Republic of Tajikistan was held.

The event was attended by representatives of the official authorities of the Republic of Turkey, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Governorship of Istanbul, heads of Consular offices accredited in Istanbul, scientists and cultural figures, media representatives, heads of local companies, as well as a compatriots living in Istanbul.

Consul General M. Saidzoda in his speech emphasized the fateful importance of Independence in the formation of a new Tajik statehood, which gained worldwide fame under the leadership of the Founder of Peace and National Unity — Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon.

During her speech, the Deputy Governor of Istanbul Ms. Özlem Bozkurt congratulated the people of Tajikistan on Independence Day.

The celebration of Independence was enriched by an interesting concert program, which embodied the ancient history, rich culture and reflection of the ancient traditions of the Tajik people. The achievements of Tajikistan over the years of Independence, and books of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon about politics, history and culture, photographs and pictures of the country’s nature were exhibited. Videos about the achievements of Tajikistan over the years of Independence and the country’s tourism opportunities were also demonstrated.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

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President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev Receives Speaker of National Assembly of Tajikistan Rustami Emomali

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev received Rustami Emomali, the Speaker of the National assembly of Tajikistan, the Akorda press service reports.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted positive dynamics of Kazakhstan -Tajikistan cooperation which demonstrates high stability amid current challenges.

President of Kazakhstan said that the agreements achieved following the results of his official visit to Tajikistan became the key guide for strengthening bilateral ties.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev mentioned that the Governments of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan work on realization of tasks of the Heads of State and practical results have already been achieved.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev conveyed good wishes to President Emomali Rahmon and words of gratitude for high organization of the CSTO and SCO summits in Dushanbe.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

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Emomali Rahmon: We Will Not Interfere in the Internal Affairs of Afghanistan

President Emomali Rahmon noted that to properly address the political and security problems of the neighboring Afghanistan, it is necessary to form an inclusive government.

He states this during his address at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in a pre-recorded message.

“We will not interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan. However, we believe that in order to properly address the political and security problems of the neighboring country, it is necessary to form an inclusive government, through elections, based on the will of the people of this country, with the engagement of all political groups and ethnic minorities,» stressed President Rahmon.

According to him, it is necessary to determine the structure of the new government through a referendum by taking into account the position of all its citizens.

“The formation of any government without taking into account the interests of all the people of Afghanistan can lead to catastrophic consequences,” he emphasized.

During more than 40 years of war and instability, which the Afghan people are not to blame for, Afghanistan has become a geopolitical platform.

“The peaceful people of Afghanistan are faced with terror today. We need to understand that this is not the fault of the Afghan people, but that it was organized from the outside and imposed on the Afghan people,” noted Rahmon.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

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Emomali Rahmon Calls Current Situation in Panjshir a Humanitarian Tragedy

The President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon remotely addressed the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in a pre-recorded message. He called the current situation in Panjshir province of Afghanistan a humanitarian catastrophe.

“As in the case of Panjshir, we are witnessing a tragic violation of international human rights,» noted Rahmon, and added that «the current situation is a humanitarian catastrophe.»

He also emphasized that the people of Panjshir have no access to food, other basic commodities, as well as humanitarian aid, and that even the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross are still unable to enter Panjshir to fulfill their humanitarian obligations.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

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Rustam Emomali Meets Speaker of Mejlis of Parliament of Kazakhstan Nurlan Nigmatullin in Nur-Sultan

The Speaker of the National Assembly of Tajikistan Rustam Emomali met with the Speaker of the Mejlis of the Parliament of Kazakhstan Nurlan Nigmatullin in Nur-Sultan.

The discussion focused on further developing the inter-parliamentary ties between the two nations.

They noted that the regular dialogue between the heads of state has contributed to the development of relations between the two countries with common cultural and spiritual values, along with long-standing neighborly traditions.

Speaker Emomali called the Republic of Kazakhstan one of the key strategic partners of Tajikistan and noted that Tajikistan attaches great importance to strengthening comprehensive cooperation with Kazakhstan in various fields. In this regard, special attention was paid to the relations between the two countries in trade, economic, social, and humanitarian spheres.

The officials also expressed concern over the latest developments in Afghanistan. Emomali noted that the situation in neighboring country poses a real threat to Central Asia, and the solution to the Afghan problem is a key factor in ensuring regional security.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

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Speaker Rustam Emomali Attends the Groundbreaking Ceremony of Tajik Embassy in Nur-Sultan

Within the framework of his official visit to Kazakhstan, Speaker of the National Assembly of Tajikistan, Mayor of Dushanbe Rustam Emomali, took part in the groundbreaking ceremony of the construction of a complex of buildings which will house the future Embassy of Tajikistan in Nur-Sultan.

Rustam Emomali was accompanied by the Speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan Maulen Ashimbaev.

The Embassy of Tajikistan in Nur-Sultan will be built on Anatoly Khrapatiy Street.

The official also took part in the opening ceremony of the street named after Rudaki and the unveiling of the bust of this founder of Tajik-Persian literature.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

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Tajik President Strongly Condemns Lawlessness, Murder, Looting and Oppression of Afghan People

In a prerecorded message that was heated during the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, speaking about Tajikistan’s position regarding the developments in Afghanistan, President Emomali Rahmon strongly condemned all forms of lawlessness, murder, looting, and oppression of the people of Afghanistan.

He expressed concern about the silence of human rights organizations regarding the violation of rights of some ethnic groups residing in Afghanistan, as well as the freedom of its citizens, especially women and children.

According to President Rahmon the rise of the Taliban, which is listed as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, has further complicated the region’s already complex geopolitical process.

Recent developments in Afghanistan, linked to the political and humanitarian crisis and governance, pose a serious threat to regional security and stability.

The critical situation in Afghanistan, which shares an almost 1,400 km border with Tajikistan, cannot leave the government and the people of Tajikistan indifferent.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

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Remarks by President Emomali Rahmon Before the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Distinguished Mr. Chairman,

Excellency Secretary-General,

Ladies and gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to convey my congratulations to the Chairman of this session of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Abdullah Shahid, on his election to this post.

Dear colleagues,

On September 9, the glorious people of Tajikistan celebrated a very historic and memorable event — the 30th anniversary of Tajikistan’s state independence.

In the initial years of our independence, our country was plunged into the tragic events of the imposed civil war, and went through difficult days.

Ending the war, bringing the fighting parties together, ensuring peace and stability, and concurrently restoring diplomatic relations and constructive cooperation with the countries of the world were among our top priorities.

Despite the existing difficulties, thanks to the policy of «open doors» and peace, we have managed to take a deserved position on the world stage and ensure the sustainable development of our country.

Dear colleagues,

The already unstable situation in the current world is further complicated by geopolitical and geoeconomic competition and the growing level of threats and dangers, as well as the unprecedented spread of infectious diseases.

This situation doubles the responsibility of states to pursue a far-sighted and coordinated policy to address the current challenges.

The role of international and regional organizations, especially the United Nations and its specialized agencies, is key to finding effective solutions to the problems of the current world.

Mr Chairman,

Recent developments in Afghanistan, linked to the political and humanitarian crisis and governance, pose a serious threat to regional security and stability.

The crisis situation in Afghanistan, which shares almost 1,400 km of border with Tajikistan, cannot leave the Government and the people of our country indifferent.

The rise to power of the Taliban, which is listed as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, has further complicated the region’s already complex geopolitical process.

The Taliban’s failure to deliver on its earlier promises to form a comprehensive government with the broad participation of Afghan political and ethnic forces is a matter of serious concern.

Tajikistan strongly condemns all forms of lawlessness, murder, looting and oppression against the people of Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, human rights organizations have remained silent on the violation of the rights of other ethnic groups residing in Afghanistan and the freedoms of its citizens, especially women and children, and have not commented on the matter.

As in the case of Panjshir Province in Afghanistan, we are witnessing a tragic violation of international human rights.

The people of Panjshir have no access to food, other basic commodities, as well as humanitarian aid, and even the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross are still unable to enter Panjshir to fulfill their humanitarian obligations.

The current situation is a humanitarian catastrophe.

The growing intensity of fights between the ethnic groups and tribes in Afghanistan is another factor further destabilizing the political and security situation in our neighboring country.

In view of this, the establishment of a comprehensive dialogue with the participation of all segments of Afghan society is one of the main preconditions for the establishment of lasting peace and stability in that country.

In this regard, along with other ethnic groups of this country, the Tajiks of Afghanistan, who comprise more than 46% of the population of this country, have the right to take their deserved pie in the public affairs.

Mr Chairman,

We will not interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.

However, we believe that in order to properly address the political and security problems of the neighboring country, it is necessary to form a comprehensive government through elections based on the will of the people of this country with the engagement of all political groups and national and ethnic minorities.

Thus, in our view, it is necessary to determine the structure of government in that country through a referendum by taking into account the position of all citizens of the country.

The formation of any government without taking into account the interests of all the people of Afghanistan can lead to catastrophic consequences in this country.

During more than 40 years of war and instability, which the Afghan people are not to blame for, Afghanistan has become a geopolitical platform; and the world is well aware of the consequences of the horrible events of September 2001.

The suffering Afghanistan and its friendly and brotherly nation should not be dragged into the abyss of imposed bloody wars again.

In this regard, the international community should not remain indifferent to the fate of the peoples and nations living in Afghanistan and its neighbors.

Hence, they have a long way to go, full of military and humanitarian problems, which have arisen due to the reckless decision to withdraw foreign troops from this country.

As a close neighbor, we are always in favor of a comprehensive solution to the Afghan problem and the restoration of lasting peace and stability in this country, and we will continue to stand firm in this position.

In this regard, we call on the international community to take immediate and effective measures to stabilize the difficult political and security situation and ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan through peaceful means at the earliest possible.

Tajikistan has called on international organizations, in particular the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross on several occasions, to provide immediate assistance to the Afghan people.

We believe that the United Nations should play a key role in advancing this process.

Dear colleagues,

The peaceful people of Afghanistan are faced with terror today.

We need to understand that this is not the fault of the Afghan people, but that it was organized from the outside and imposed on the Afghan people.

In this case, we are talking about the massacre of civilians, former members of the national security forces and civil servants of Afghanistan.

Various terrorist groups are actively using the unstable military and political situation in Afghanistan to strengthen their position.

We have witnessed the release of thousands of members of ISIS, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

In other words, it is a matter of concern and regret that today Afghanistan is once again on the path to becoming a breeding ground for international terrorism.

Tajikistan, which, due to its geographical location, is at the forefront of countering current threats and challenges, such as terrorism, extremism, radicalization, drug trafficking and other transnational organized crime, will continue its efforts to prevent their further spread and believes that the support of the world community is vital in this process.

Dear colleagues,

Tajikistan is constantly making joint efforts with its partners and international organizations, in particular the relevant institutions of the United Nations, to ensure lasting peace and stability throughout the world.

Successful implementation of the National Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan on Combating Terrorism and Extremism for 2016-2020 has created a favorable basis for the development and adoption of a new Strategy for Combating Terrorism and Extremism in Tajikistan for the next five years.

Countering the illicit trafficking of drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors, the proceeds of which are one of the main sources of funding for international terrorism, requires joint action and coordinated efforts by the international community.

The Republic of Tajikistan, which has gained considerable experience through the implementation of its National Strategy for Combating Drug Trafficking to 2020, also contributes to combating this phenomenon at the regional and international levels.

Taking into account modern methods and approaches to combat these phenomena, and in order to pursue an effective policy in this area, we have adopted our National Drugs Control Strategy for 2021-2030 in the first semester of this year.

Mr Chairman,

We, in Tajikistan, are well aware of the value of peace and the importance of its protection.

We are satisfied with the positive experience in our country’s cooperation with the United Nations in this regard.

Hence, Tajikistan has always supported the peacekeeping activities of the United Nations and will continue to make efforts to contribute to the restoration and maintenance of peace and stability in the conflict zones.

We intend to increase the number of our officers to contribute to this process in the future in cooperation with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Moreover, in order to contribute to the implementation of the goals and objectives of the UN Security Council, to share the rich experience of Tajikistan in countering security threats and restore full peace and stability through negotiations, we decided to nominate our country for non-permanent membership of this Council for 2028-2029.

In this regard, we stand ready for cooperation with all UN member states and hope that they will support Tajikistan’s candidacy.

Dear colleagues,

The COVID-19 disease and its more dangerous waves remain a cause for concern along with the above-mentioned security threats and major problems.

This disease, which originally began as a health crisis, has led to a global economic crisis.

Having recognizing the importance of cooperation between countries in overcoming the negative socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, the Republic of Tajikistan welcomes the UN Comprehensive Responce to COVID-19 launched by the Secretary General.

We also welcome the efforts of various organizations, foundations and programs of the United Nations, including the World Health Organization, in providing vaccines against this disease, as well as immediate and long-term assistance to member states.

Economic and financial performance of countries and the negative consequences of COVID-19 will delay the timely implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially in developing and least developed countries.

Therefore, recognizing the important role of the United Nations in the effective and timely implementation of these goals, we are confident that the Decade of Action to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (2020-2030) will facilitate to find effective ways to address global challenges, including climate change, poverty, gender inequality and funding.

Dear colleagues,

Climate change challenges are also a serious obstacle to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in various countries, including Tajikistan.

Tajikistan with 93 percent of its territory covered by mountainous, is concerned, along with other countries in the region, about changes in the hydrological cycle leading to severe floods and droughts and causing a negative impact on water, energy and food security.

Unfortunately, our country loses hundreds of millions of dollars annually as a result of water-borne disasters, and in many cases, natural disasters cause human losses and destruct the vital infrastructure.

We are today on the eve of the 26th session of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.

We believe that this meeting will significantly contribute to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and accelerating the efforts of the international community in the fight against climate change.

One of the serious consequences of this process is the melting of glaciers.

As a result of climate change and unprecedented warming, more than 1,000 of the 13,000 glaciers in Tajikistan’s mountains have completely melted.

According to the available statistics, the Fedchenko Glacier alone has shrunk to 11 square kilometers in recent decades in Tajikistan, and lost 2 cubic kilometers of ice.

This all is happening despite the fact that up to 60% of Central Asia’s water resources originate from Tajikistan’s glaciers.

Our country ranks 135th in the world in terms of carbon dioxide emissions and produces 96% of its electricity in hydropower plants.

As the leader of such a country, I have made concrete proposals at international conferences on several occasions to find solutions to the problems associated with climate change.

In this regard, as a member of the founding group of the World Water and Climate Coalition, I proposed at its first high-level meeting to declare the years of 2025 as the International Year for Preservation of Glaciers.

It is my firm belief that this initiative will help to attract more attention of the world community to the water and climate issues and the melting of glaciers.

The establishment of the International Fund for Glacier Preservation under the auspices of the United Nations is another step that could provide a basis for comprehensive research and effective solutions to this global problem.

Mr Chairman,

Tajikistan is recognized as an initiator and lead country and contributes to the process of promoting water and climate issues in the Global Development Agenda and submitting relevant UN resolutions on these issues.

The International Decade for Action «Water for Sustainable Development, 2018 — 2028» initiated by Tajikistan and declared by the United Nations, is under implementation currently.

The international community is looking forward to the United Nations Conference on the Comprehensive Medium-Term Review of this Decade, to be held in New York City in 2023.

Because in almost 50 years, this will be the second Special Conference of the United Nations on Water, which will once again prove the key role of water issues in the global development agenda and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

We are proud that Tajikistan, together with the Kingdom of the Netherlands are elected as co-chair of this important international forum.

In this regard, we have already begun preparations with our partners, including the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs, and are taking steps to organize a comprehensive and high-level conference.

We would like to encourage all stakeholders to cooperate extensively in this process.

Let me recall that in 2022, our country will host the International High-Level Conference on the Review of the International Decade for Action «Water for Sustainable Development».

We believe that this forum will play an important role in the preparations for the 2023 Water Conference.

Taking this opportunity, I reaffirm my country’s readiness to advance water and climate issues at all levels, especially in cooperation with the United Nations.

I thank you for your attention.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

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The cadets took an oath of allegiance

The swearing-in ceremony of 38 cadets of the State Fire Service Technical College of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was held on September 24 at the Training Center of the Main Department of the State Fire Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Colonel of Internal Affairs Aloviddin Saidalizoda, director of the institution, police colonel Haidarzoda Shomurod Haidar and teachers and parents of students took part in the event.

After the National Anthem, the students took an oath of allegiance to the Motherland.

Then, the Deputy Chief of the Personnel and Personnel Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Colonel Mahmadali Musozoda, in his speech said that every soldier, cadet and employee should solemnly remember this military oath when joining the ranks of law enforcement agencies. You, the students of the Fire-Technical College, are recognized as military personnel after taking the Oath. It is a matter of pride and honor that a new modern educational building has been built in Dangara district, where you will continue your education in the shortest possible time. In his turn, the director of the institution, Colonel Shomurod Haidarzoda, congratulated the guests, students and their parents on this memorable day, the Day of Remembrance of the Oath, and said that today we have the constant support of the Head of State and Minister of Internal Affairs, Colonel-General Rahimzoda Ramazon. Together we are making the necessary efforts to educate students at the appropriate level.

He further added that after taking the military oath, he strives for the further development of our beloved Motherland, protects the rights and interests of citizens and the achievements of the country’s independence with a strong sense of patriotism, always pursues the study of science. be your own.

At the ceremony, the parents of the cadet H. Bobokalonova congratulated the students on the occasion of the Oath, adding: “You, students, be proud to join the ranks of law enforcement officers today. Therefore, all of you are required to make every effort to study modern sciences while studying. ” First-year cadet Mahmadrajab Aminov expressed his gratitude to the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and teachers of this school and promised to graduate from this school and faithfully serve the people and homeland.

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan

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The theft of 80 thousand dollars by a 34-year-old man and woman

During search operations by police on suspicion of theft were detained 34-year-old resident of Varzob district and 34-year-old resident of the capital.

On September 19, 2021, at approximately 9:00 a.m., they entered the apartment of a 28-year-old resident of Dushanbe, stole 80,000 US dollars and 53,500 somoni, and disappeared from the scene. .

An investigation is under way.

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan

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Passenger’s death as a result of a traffic accident

On September 23, 2021, at approximately 06:00, the driver of an Opel Astra, Ochilov Sharifjon Mahmadjonovich, born in 1991, resident of Unji Jamoat, B. Gafurov District, was driving on the Dushanbe-Khujand-Chanak highway. », On the territory of B. Gafurov district, unable to control the vehicle, overturned the car on the left side of the road.

As a result, the passenger of the car Mamajonov Anvarjon Mamadjonovich, born in 1997, a resident of the area, received serious injuries and died at the scene.

An investigation is under way.

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan

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Revealing acts of fraud

During search operations by police on suspicion of fraud was detained 28-year-old resident of Dushanbe, previously convicted under Article 292 part 1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Tajikistan.

In early February 2021, he tricked a 29-year-old resident of Dushanbe into buying a Toyota Camry-3 worth 160,000 somonis and selling it for 105,000 somonis. sold and used the proceeds for personal gain.

Thus, in early May 2020, he fraudulently entered into the trust of a 29-year-old resident of Dushanbe, took from him a car “Toyota Camry-3” for 155 thousand Somoni and stole a car for 98 thousand Somoni. Out of this amount, 35 thousand somoni have not been returned and the remaining 120 thousand somoni have not been returned yet.

A 55-year-old woman from Dushanbe has filed a complaint with the DMIA in Dushanbe. received and has not yet returned the money.

An investigation is under way.

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan

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Tajik President Warns UN Of ‘Serious Threats’ Emanating From Afghanistan

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has called on the Taliban to form an inclusive government in neighboring Afghanistan with the participation of all political and ethnic groups in order to allay tensions in the war-torn country.

In a prerecorded video message to the UN General Assembly in New York on September 23, Rahmon reiterated his concerns over recent developments in Afghanistan, calling them a “serious threat to regional security and stability.”

The Taliban gained control over almost all of Afghanistan’s territory last month following a lightning offensive at the end of a 20-year U.S.-led military presence, triggering alarm among Central Asian states bordering Afghanistan over possible security threats emanating from the country and the potential for tens of thousands of refugees to pour over the border.

The militants have sought to reassure the international community that it poses no threat and suggested that it is now more moderate than during the brutal rule the hard-line Islamist group employed during its first stint in power from 1996 to 2001.

The Taliban promised inclusiveness and a general amnesty for former opponents but has been criticized for forming an all-male government led by hard-line veterans and composed almost entirely of members from the Pashtun ethnic group.

A ban on protests, a crackdown on demonstrators and journalists, and a rolling back of the rights of girls and women also failed to back up the group’s promises to respect human rights.

The international community has warned it would judge the group by its actions, and that recognition of a Taliban-led government would be linked to issues including the treatment of women and minorities.

Tajikistan is one of the few countries in the region that has rejected any talks with the Taliban.

In his address to the UN General Assembly, Rahmon accused the Taliban of not living up to its promises to form an inclusive government and criticized human rights groups for what he called their silence over “violation of the rights of other ethnic groups in Afghanistan.”

In Panjshir, a rugged mountain valley northeast of Kabul where an anti-Taliban resistance front is active, the Tajik president accused Taliban fighters of carrying out killings and depriving residents of access to food, electricity, and Internet connection.

Rahmon called for comprehensive talks with the participation of all segments of Afghan society as one of the main conditions for stability in the country.

Afghanistan’s ethnic Tajiks, who he said make up 46 percent of the country’s population, and other ethnic groups “have the right to have a worthy place in the affairs of state.”

While no reliable current data on ethnicity in Afghanistan exists to back up Rahmon’s claim, the group Minority Rights says previous estimates have shown ethnic Tajiks comprise about 27 percent of Afghanistan’s population, while ethnic Uzbeks are 9 percent and Turkmen 3 percent. The largest group, Pashtuns, are just over 40 percent of the populace.

The Tajik leader also expressed concern about what he called the strengthening of extremist groups such as the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, saying that the country “is on the verge of becoming a hotbed of international terrorism again.”

Describing Tajikistan as a “front line” in the fight against terrorism and extremism, Rahmon called for support from the international community.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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Eritrea

Announcement from the Ministry of Health

Five patients have been diagnosed positive for COVID-19 in tests carried out today at Quarantine Centers in Asmara, Central Region.

On the other hand, three patients who have been receiving medical treatment in hospitals in the Central Region have recovered fully and have been discharged from these facilities. Sadly, 78 years old patient in the Central Region has passed away due to the pandemic.

The total number of recovered patients has accordingly increased to 6,628 while the number of deaths has risen to 42.

The total number of confirmed cases in the country to date has risen to 6,685.

Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea

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Resolve to strengthen participation in development programs

At a ceremony organized to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the beginning of armed struggle for Eritrea’s independence, nationals in Italy expressed resolve to strengthen organizational capacity and participation in the national development programs. At a ceremony organized to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the beginning of armed struggle for Eritrea’s independence, nationals in Italy expressed resolve to strengthen organizational capacity and participation in the national development programs. Briefings were also provided by heads of national organizations on the occasions conducted in Bologna, Verona, and Bari.

According to a report from the head of Public and Community Affairs at the Eritrean Embassy, nationals in other cities of Italy will conduct similar ceremonies on 26 September.

Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea

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Address by Eritrea’s Minister of Agriculture to the UN Food Systems Summit

Mr. Chairman!

H.E. António Guterres

UN Secretary-General

Excellencies, Heads of State and Government

Distinguished Heads of Delegation

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Let me first extend my appreciation to the organizers of this important event.

In Eritrea, the challenge of food production starts from our location. As we find ourselves in the Sahel region, which is a water-stressed zone, a huge work of soil and water conservation in general, and water harvesting in the form of ponds and dams in particular, is imperative. Over the last three decades, the Government constructed hundreds of small and big multipurpose dams. The big dams have adequate infrastructures around them in order to lay the ground for modern farming.

This intervention, along with pressurized irrigation technologies, renewable energy, modified rainfed agriculture, protected agriculture, mechanization, improved seeds, and better agricultural practices are helping us in boosting production and productivity.

However, producing enough to eat is one thing, and ensuring the right nutrition is another thing. For this, we have developed a very clear strategy for our smallholder farmers and our small and medium commercial farmers with the aim of practicing climate-smart, intensive and integrated agriculture combining crops and livestock.

Moreover, Eritrea recorded remarkable success in nutrition intervention at the community level through micronutrients deficiency control programs (particularly iron, vitamin A and iodine). Consequently, Eritrea achieved a Vitamin A supplementation of 96% among children under the age of 5. In addition, integrated management of acute malnutrition, together with maternal and neonatal health services, has been expanded in all health facilities.

We are also increasing fish production and consumption from our maritime and freshwater sources.

Better production and better nutrition, however, are not going to be sustainable and resilient unless we address the environmental and safety issues.

Owing to the cross-cutting nature of environmental challenges like climate change, land degradation, and biodiversity loss, great efforts have been made to mainstream environmental issues in all sectors. Furthermore, recognizing land as the basis of life and food production, the Government has laid the foundation for an equitable and fair land tenure system that enables access to land for all citizens regardless of gender, ethnicity, and religion. This policy rectifies the traditional rotational basis to provide lifetime use right for better and sustainable management of the land.

To address the safety issues, the government is promoting and launching liquid and solid bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides produced from locally available materials.

As a result, we believe that the combined outcome of the above interventions will lead to a better and healthier life.

This will also strengthen the resilience of the people to environmental and other shocks like COVID-19 and the outbreak of desert locusts against which we are doing very fine.

In conclusion, Eritrea believes that the combined knowledge, skills, and experiences of the global community will lead us all to a better and more sustained food system.

I thank you for your attention!

Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea

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History-maker: Biniam Ghirmay scores first road worlds medal for Eritrea

The 21-year-old emerged from the swirling chaos of the bunch in the final meters of Friday’s U23 men’s road race at the world championships to make history.

Scything his way through rider after rider, finally dropping Olev Kooij (Netherlands) shortly before the line, he dashed to the silver medal just behind Italy’s Filippo Baroncini, and became the first rider from Eritrea to win a road world championship medal.

“For me, for my nation, and also for Africans, it means a lot to have this medal. I’m really proud of my nation,” Ghirmay said in his post-race press conference in Leuven. “I have to say congratulations to all of Eritrea and all Africans.

“My family said to me, for sure you can take a medal,” he said. “I say thank you to my family who have supported me, they give me really good motivation every single day.

“When I started the sprint, I was a bit nervous, but I was just thinking of getting one of the medals. I did it, so I’m happy with my place.”

Eritrean cyclists have been on the up and up within the European peloton since Daniel Teklehaimanot became the first cyclist from the country to compete at the Olympic Games and ride a grand tour in 2012.

There are now four riders from the African country riding at WorldTour level — a small number compared to many of the European nations, but no mean feat given the logistical challenges many from the African continent face.

Behind these four is a growing number of promising talents rising through the ranks, and Ghirmay doesn’t want his result to be an anomaly but a sign of what’s to come.

“I hope we can do even better than this, maybe after this second in the next few years it will be the rainbow jersey,” Ghirmay said. “I think the future is bright for Eritrean riders. We have really good potential and a good future. It is not just in the last years but for a long time.

“We are getting more experience and we are progressing physically and mentally every day and we keep working and fighting to be at WorldTour level,” he said. “This has been happening for a long time and I am happy to see myself in this group. There is a really good future over the next years.”

Becoming a classics man

Ghirmay picked up cycling as a pre-teen, initially racing on the mountain bike before discovering his talents on the road.

He made his name as a future cycling star when he took a clean sweep of the African national championships in 2018. After helping his country to the team time trial relay, he romped to the individual TT title by almost a minute and then won the road race title from a two-up sprint.

“I am from the capital Asmara. It is the cycling zone in Eritrea and every Sunday there is a race,” Ghirmay said. “I started when I was 12 years old with a school of racing and then I rode mountain bike and also I started road racing when I was 15 years old.

“I came to Europe in 2018 with the UCI [World Cycling Center]. After I won the African continental championships, they invited me to race internationally. I did a lot of races with them and gained a lot of experience. It means a lot for me because I went to Europe in 2018, every year and every step, and every new experience, I learned a lot and it worked well today.”

Ghirmay is the newest of the Eritrean WorldTour group after signing for the Belgian Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert last month. He started his tenure at the team with eighth place in the opening stage of the Tour of Poland.

His first win for them came soon afterward at the Classic Grand Besançon Doubs after he made it into a group of attackers that included Thibaut Pinot and Nairo Quintana.

Most Eritrean riders that have turned professional have been strong climbers — little surprise given the country’s capital is over 2,300m above sea level — but Ghirmay is from a different mold.

His silver medal in Flanders is proof of his talents as a sprinter and he wants to develop that talent as well as become a good classics rider, like one of his favorite riders, Peter Sagan.

“For now, I am really looking forward to the classics races and some hilly races,” he said. “I think my sprint is the best capacity I have, so I am working on becoming faster in the bunch sprints and the small uphills.”

Source: Dehai Eritrea Online

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Biniam Girmay: Worlds silver is for Eritrea and for Africa

Biniam Girmay hailed a landmark moment for Eritrea and all of Africa after winning the silver medal in the U23 men’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships.

The rising star burst clear of a reduced bunch to place second in Leuven, just a couple of seconds after solo winner Filippo Baroncini. In doing so, he made history, becoming the first Eritrean and the first black African to win a medal at the Road World Championships.

“For me, for my nation, also for Africa, this means a lot,” Girmay said as his section of the post-race press conference outlasted that of the world champion to his left.

“I’m really happy. I’m really proud of my nation, so I say congrats to all Eritreans and also to all Africans.”

Girmay nodded his head sharply as he crossed the line, which at first looked like a show of frustration. He had been the fastest in the reduced bunch, only thwarted by a solo attacker, but it soon became clear that there wasn’t a hint of disappointment.

He sank to the tarmac and was mobbed by his teammates and staff, and could no doubt hear – if not see – the flag-laden Eritrean fans in Leuven.

“Yesterday I called my family, and they told me to remember when I was a kid,” he revealed. “My father said to me ‘hopefully you will become one of the biggest riders in all the world, you will be world champion’. So I was on the phone to my father and my whole family, and they said ‘for sure you can do it and take a medal’.

“I say thank you for all my family. They supported me. They give me really good motivation, every single day. When I was starting my sprint, I was a bit nervous but I was also thinking just to get one of the medals. Not to win – just to finish top three and I did it. I am happy with my place.”

Girmay has been touted as a big talent but his journey to the top of the sport is far from straightforward. Cycling is popular in Eritrea but in terms of pathways to the professional ranks, it lags far behind cycling’s European heartlands.

“I’m from the capital city Asmara. That’s the cycling zone in Eritrea,” Girmay said, explaining his roots. “Every Sunday there’s a race, and all the people who like cycling give you a lot of advice. I started when I was 12 years old, at school. I rode mountain bike but then I also started road racing when I was 15.”

Girmay’s big break was an invite to the UCI’s World Cycling Centre, to which he says he owes a big debt of gratitude. The WCC is an initiative of the sport’s governing body to develop riders from backgrounds that may ordinarily prevent them from reaching the pro ranks, housing them in Switzerland and offering structured training and access to races.

“I raced a lot of races with them and gained a lot of good experience. When you’re young, you come to Europe and you see the peloton – big peloton – and a lot of tactics. Mentally and physically, I grew at the World Cycling Centre.”After I won the African Continental Championships – in the TT and the road race – the UCI invited me, so I joined them in 2018 and stayed until the end of 2019. It was really important – one of the most important things,” Girmay said.

“It means a lot to me because I went to Europe in 2018 and every year, with every step, every new experience, I learn a lot. It has worked today.”

Girmay then signed his first professional contract with the French Delko team for 2020, and he immediately made his mark, winning two stages of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon. He went on to finish runner-up behind Giulio Ciccone at Trofeo Laigueglia, then to Loic Vliegen at Tour du Doubs, as well as picking up four podiums at the Tour du Rwanda and fourth at the Giro della Toscana.

Interest rocketed, WorldTour teams started circling, and, as Delko found themselves in financial and administrative trouble this year, a mid-season transfer to WorldTour outfit Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux was organised for the start of August. He quickly set about winning the GP Besançon Doubs – his first professional victory on European soil.

“When I joined this team I was super happy. I think it’s a good team. It’s not only a team but a family,” he said. “I also say thank you to them for giving me the opportunity and supporting me the past few months. I joined halfway through the season but they gave me the chance immediately to sprint for the win.”

Girmay signed a long-term deal with the Belgian team and recently relocated to Lucca, Italy, where there’s a sizeable contingent of Eritrean riders. He signed through 2024 – a sign of how highly rated he is – in which time he hopes to hone his skills as a versatile sprinter and start winning bigger and bigger races.

“For now, I’m really looking at the Classics, also some hilly races with a sprint,” he said. “This is my best capacity so I’m working for this to be faster in the bunch sprints and on the small uphills. I also want to show the next few years that I can be one of the big riders.

“When I was little, I liked sprinters. I wouldn’t say he’s my hero, but I like Peter Sagan, not only for his cycling but also outside of cycling. He’s really funny and easy-going.”

The future appears very bright indeed for Girmay but he is also aware of the potential impact of his silver medal not just in the next few years, or even the rest of his career, but for decades and generations to come.

“In Eritrea our future is bright,” he said. “We have really good potential. It’s not just from the last years, it’s longer.

“We will get more experience, and progress every day mentally and physically. There is a really good future, I think.”

Source: Dehai Eritrea Online

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EmbassyMedia – TalkShow (Eritrea – cycling powerhouse in Africa)

Cycling has been a main sport in Eritrea since 1939. Since independence, Eritrea had become a cycling powerhouse in Africa, dominating the African championship eight times in both genders. As cycling is such a popular sport amongst Eritreans, the Eritrean community in Manchester decided to host an Eritrean cycling festival, intending to celebrate Eritrean cyclists, some who have competed for generations and to inspire children in diaspora. The event was organised by Biniam Asmelash, one of Eritrea’s cyclists with other fellow cyclists such as Samuel Zekarias (Halabay) Carmello Salbini, Beyene Simon, Tesfalidet Hayelom, Fissehatzion Gebreyesus, FreQalsi Debesay, Wedi Hidray, Fetsum Gilom (Wedi Gilom), Amanuel Yigzaw, Amanuel Mesfen, Biniam Eyob, Amanuel Isac, R. Mazzola and many more, that have participated in the All African Games, Olympics, World Championships and other prominent competitions.

Source: Dehai Eritrea Online

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Djibouti

Migrant Support Centres in the East and Horn of Africa Look to the Next Three Years

Migration Response Centres (MRCs) in the East and Horn of Africa, and Yemen, have provided support services to thousands of migrants at a time when COVID-19 worsened the vulnerability of populations on the move.

The pandemic has led to riskier migration pathways, reduced livelihood opportunities, and increased discrimination for migrants. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in the first eight months of 2021 alone, over 19,000 migrants passed through the 12 MRCs in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan as well as the Migration Response Point in Aden, Yemen, where they accessed a range of services

In this context, IOM, government and partner representatives have agreed on a strategy to improve the coordination and the quality of assistance offered by MRCs to migrants in need.

MRCs are located on key migration routes towards North Africa and Europe, the Arabian Peninsula, and South Africa. The centres are making it possible for governments, IOM, and other partners to work jointly in providing support to migrants who find themselves in difficult and sometimes life-threatening situations.

The assistance offered ranges from medical and psychological support, shelter, food, hygiene items, clothing and information for assisted voluntary return and reintegration.

In September over 50 representatives from government bodies, UN agencies, local NGOs, migrant community associations, along with IOMM staff, got together to formulate a Regional Strategy (2021-2024) for MRCs in the East and Horn of Africa and Yemen.

Three strategic priorities were identified for the next three years, namely: (1) the prevention of protection concerns, (2) the delivery of quality assistance and protection services, and (3) the strengthening of sustainability and comprehensiveness of services through increased partner involvement and government ownership.

Yohannes Sissay, from the Office of the Attorney General in Ethiopia emphasized: “The MRC strategy has a direct relevance to what we have already been doing as the Government of Ethiopia.” He also expressed the need for a strategy that has buy-in from the MRCs themselves.

Mohamud Jama Muse Eid, Director of MRC Bossaso – one of three MRCs in Somalia – said: “In the next three years, it is our common obligation to improve migration management systems through the inclusive participation of all partners. We wish to create a special coordination platform for all our partners.”

In the next stage of the process, partners will again convene for a validation workshop on the Regional MRC Strategy ahead of its launch.

Ashraf Hassan, Senior Regional Programme Manager of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (the EU-IOM Joint Initiative), said: “The process of developing a regional MRC strategy is one with which we hope to strategically position MRCs within the overall migration response in the region, recognizing them as important mechanisms for the coordination and delivery of protection and assistance to migrants in vulnerable situations.”

Mr. Hassan added: “Importantly, this process is also an opportunity to re-define and strengthen our partnership to ensure a coordinated and holistic response to the situations faced by migrants in vulnerable situations.”

About the EU-IOM Joint Initiative

Launched in December 2016 with the support of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), the programme brings together 26 African countries of the Sahel and Lake Chad region, the Horn of Africa, and North Africa, along with the European Union and the International Organization for Migration, around the goal of ensuring that migration is safer, more informed and better governed for both migrants and their communities.

Source: International Organization for Migration

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Namibia

Namibian Protesters Storm Parliament, Criticize German Genocide Compensation

WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA —

Namibian activists and opposition members stormed parliament this week over a deal with Germany to atone for a colonial genocide more than a century ago.

Opposition lawmakers also called for a renegotiation of the deal, in which Germany has agreed to fund about $1.3 billion in development projects over 30 years to redress land taken and tens of thousands killed from 1904 to 1908. Critics said the amount was insufficient.

Activist Sima Luipert vowed legal action if the Namibian parliament approved a bill accepting the deal. She said the deal, which the Namibian and German governments reached in May, violated the participation and informed consent rights of the ethnic Ovaherero and Nama peoples.

Hundreds gather

Luipert was one of about 300 protesters at the Namibian parliament Tuesday objecting to the bill. Some in the group jumped over gates to voice their opposition.

The Landless People’s Movement, which led the protest, said it wanted to ensure opposition to the bill was heard. Group spokesman Eneas Emvula said, “Part of the people that walked this long journey to parliament, from Katutura, alongside Independence Avenue, are actually members of parliament and leaders of the opposition political parties within parliament.”

Namibian Vice President Nangolo Mbumba said everyone has a right to protest. But he also underscored that opponents of the deal who wanted direct compensation would not get it.

“People thought because this is a genocide negotiation issue, the descendants of those communities, the victims, they would now be compensated individually,” Mbumba said. “The Jewish people were being compensated as survivors; so are the Mau Maus. We are talking after 117 years, if you count from 1904. It is four generations already.”

Supporters say the agreement, which took years to negotiate, is acceptable for an atrocity committed by a Germany that existed before World War I.

Source: Voice of America

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Global COVID-?19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better

On September 22, 2021, President Biden convened a virtual Global COVID-19 Summit focused on ending the pandemic and building better health security to prevent and prepare for future biological threats.

The President called on the world to collectively end the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as possible, with every country, partner, and organization doing its part, aligning around shared goals and targets, and holding each other to account. At the same time, all countries need the capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats, including future pandemics. The Summit introduced ambitious targets in three critical areas for ending this pandemic and preventing and preparing for the next: Vaccinate the World; Save Lives Now; and Build Back Better.

President Biden hosted the virtual Global COVID Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better, which included participation by representatives from more than 100 governments and other partners and more than 100 leaders from international organizations, the private sector, the philanthropic sector, civil society, academia, and other stakeholders. These are listed below.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed over 4.5 million lives and continues to ravage communities and economies around the world. President Biden called on Summit participants to not only do more, but to do enough to end the pandemic and build back better.

President Biden was also joined at the Summit by Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power, Department of Health and Human Services Director of the Office of Global Affairs Loyce Pace, and State Department Coordinator for the Global COVID-19 Response and Health Security Gayle Smith. The full list of participants is available below.

Throughout the Summit, leaders of countries and organizations underscored the importance of coalescing around shared targets to align commitments with outcomes, as all parties worked together to: Vaccinate the World, Save Lives Now, and Build Back Better Global Health Security over the months ahead. Reaching these targets will require leadership, ambition, boldness, collaboration, transparency, and new commitments.

In advance of and during the Summit, many countries and stakeholders announced their intention to donate vaccines and financial support to critical vaccine readiness activities to ensure shots get into arms around the world. Leaders broadly aligned around the World Health Organization (WHO) target of vaccinating at least 70 percent of the global population in every country by UNGA 2022 and expressed shared urgency to do more, to act now, to enhance accountability, and to monitor progress. To advance this effort, President Biden called for another Heads of State-level Summit in the first quarter of 2022, and Secretary Blinken committed to convene Foreign Ministers in 2021. Countries made new commitments to share doses and/or double or triple previous pledges for vaccines, delivery, oxygen and testing support, and health security.

Participants from around the world and across sectors, listed below, brought commitments to the Summit – further details will be available over the coming days. While the event was not a pledging conference, participants’ combined commitments exceeded 850 million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses and major new commitments for vaccine readiness, oxygen, testing, health systems, and health security financing.

A list of new commitments announced by the United States at or around the Summit can be found in this Fact Sheet.

A link to the common targets released by the United States during the Summit for tracking and accountability can be found here.

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Session 1. Calling the World to Account and Vaccinating the World

President Biden chaired the opening session of the Summit, which was focused on the need for all countries, organizations, and stakeholders to do more to make COVID-19 vaccines available to all people, everywhere. He was joined by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Participants echoed President Biden’s call to align around common targets, more urgently track progress, and support one another in fulfilling commitments. World leaders embraced the World Health Organization goal of fully vaccinating at least 70 percent of the population in every country and income category with quality, safe, and effective vaccines by UNGA 2022, and leaders called for more urgent and equitable distribution of vaccine doses.

President Biden announced bold new commitments from the United States to supply an additional 500 million doses of Pfizer vaccine that will all be shipped by this time next year, bringing the U.S. total commitment of donated vaccines to over 1.1 billion.

He also announced that the United States is stepping up efforts to get shots into arms and boost global manufacturing. He encouraged countries to join the United States in upholding a set of principles to ensure we can fulfill our collective global commitments for equitable global distribution of safe and effective WHO Emergency Use Listed-authorized COVID-19 vaccines. Those principles include committing to donate, rather than sell, doses to low- and lower-middle income countries with no political strings attached; to support COVAX as the main mechanism for sharing WHO-authorized vaccines; to fight vaccine disinformation; to exercise transparency; to build public trust; and to work toward common goals and targets to measure progress and to hold ourselves and each accountable. The President acknowledged efforts through the Quad partnership to help produce at least 1 billion vaccine doses in India to boost the global vaccine supply by the end of 2022, as well as U.S. financing to help strengthen manufacturing in South Africa and produce more than 500 million J&J doses in Africa for Africa by next year.

President Biden also emphasized the vital logistical challenge of getting those vaccines into the arms of people, and he called on all participants to significantly step up investments in this area. He announced a commitment of an additional $370 million to support global vaccine readiness and delivery, and he committed more than $380 million in assistance for Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, to provide political risk insurance to facilitate shipment of vaccines to nine countries across three continents. In addition, he called on countries, vaccine manufacturers, and other partners to expand global and regional vaccine manufacturing capacity and enhance transparency to make vaccine production and distribution more predictable and coordinated. He emphasized the United States is working with partner nations and manufacturer to increase their capability to produce and make safe and highly effective vaccines in their own countries.

The President also underscored the importance of saving lives now, and noted the United States is providing nearly $1.4 billion to reduce COVID-19 deaths and mitigate transmission through bulk oxygen support, expanded testing, strengthening healthcare systems and more.

Finally, President Biden emphasized U.S. support for the establishment of a global health security financing mechanism to prepare for the next pandemic, which Vice President Harris detailed later in the Summit. He closed the meeting by calling on leaders to set targets that require us to aim high, follow through on our commitments, and hold each other accountable to end the pandemic and advance health security for all.

Finally, President Biden called for a whole of society response, with an ask for the private sector, country governments, philanthropies, and civil society to take up the U.S. call to action to solve core challenges toward ending the pandemic and building back better – including making vaccinations available to everyone, everywhere; solving the oxygen crisis; financing health security, and more. Representatives from businesses, foundations, and civil society joined global leaders at the Summit. Some of those leaders announced coalitions to combine funds, expertise, and capacity to help realize specific challenges within each of the goals, for example addressing the global oxygen crisis, closing the testing gap, and ensuring vaccines are delivered and administered.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global vaccination plan to at least double vaccine production and ensure 2.3 billion doses are equitably distributed through COVAX to reach 40 percent of people in all countries by the end of this year, and 70 percent in the first half of 2022 as WHO recommends. He framed global vaccination not as philanthropy but as self-interest for all parties, emphasizing the need for low and lower-middle income countries (LMICs) to have the resources and technology to manufacture their own vaccines. He also called for better resourced and stronger global health security architecture. The United Nations will continue to support vaccine rollout in countries and communities that are hardest to reach.

World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom-Ghebreyesus emphasized the importance ofmultilateralism in addressing the disparity in vaccine access between high- and low-income countries. He praised the new U.S. vaccine commitment and called on countries to work with companies to swap places with other countries in vaccine queues, for countries to fulfill dose share pledges immediately, and for sharing the intellectual property necessary to facilitate manufacturing around the world. He observed that we owe it to those who lost their lives to build better governance, financing, systems, and tools to ensure global health security. He called on leaders to support the vaccination of at least 40 percent of the population of every country by the end of this year and 70 percent by mid-2022. He also called on those who control existing vaccine supplies to ensure that 2 billion doses are provided rapidly to LMICs in order to begin meeting these targets, as the Secretary General highlighted.

Republic of South Africa’s President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the risks of not reaching the vaccination targets set out in the Summit, and discussed how the pandemic exacerbates the global vaccine gap and the ways it undermines global health security. He also affirmed the importance of enabling countries to do their own vaccine manufacturing and procurement, and called on WTO member states to approve the TRIPS waiver proposal from South Africa, India, and other co-sponsors. He shared the African Union’s impactful work in hosting the first mRNA tech transfer on the African continent, then called for a sustainable plan to support LMICs through technology and finance to meet vaccine targets. He also supported the establishment of a global health security financial intermediary fund for pandemic preparedness, a Global Health Threats Council, and Secretary-General Guterres’ proposal for a global vaccination plan.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described the pandemic as one of the most pressing societal challenges we have ever faced. To help address this challenge, she announced a new European Union partnership with the United States to help vaccinate the world with a joint objective of a 70 percent global vaccination rate by UNGA 2022. The EU-U.S. global vaccination partnership seeks to expand supply and improve delivery while managing constraints to supply chains. This partnership will seek to boost vaccine production in LMICs and coordinate investments to build regional manufacturing. The EU is investing more than €1 billion with partners in Africa and the pharmaceutical sector to bring mRNA technology to the continent beginning with hubs in South Africa, and Senegal, and Rwanda. She reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to share more than 500 million doses by the middle of next year, and the EU commitment that every second dose of vaccine produced in Europe is shipped abroad (to date, 800 million doses). President von der Leyen also committed that the EU will work with the United States and within the G20 to establish a global health security FIF to help build a healthy and secure future.

Republic of Indonesia President Joko Widodo called for the strengthening of theglobal health architecture and for a new mechanism to mobilize resources. He articulated the need for LMICs to be part of the solution, by enhancing capacity to manufacture of vaccines, medicines, and supplies. He appealed for an end to vaccine nationalism, and said Indonesia as G20 chair next year will focus on strengthening the global health security architecture and preparing for future challenges.

World Trade Organization Director-General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala noted the urgency of preventing more people from dying in poor countries due to lack of access to lifesaving vaccines and other medical countermeasures. She emphasized the risk of the pandemic to economic recovery, if slow vaccination progress allows the emergence of even more dangerous variants, saying, “Either we converge downwards by allowing the virus to drag all of us back down, or we converge upwards by vaccinating the world.” She noted the centrality of trade in this effort, and she provided the example of the Pfizer- BioNTech and Moderna vaccines requiring inputs from nineteen countries. She reiterated the importance of the WTO’s work to reduce export restrictions, address supply bottlenecks, and smooth regulatory obstacles. She called on industry to donate doses and swap contracts so that COVAX and less advantaged countries can move up in the queue and receive supplies for distribution. She urged leaders to find pragmatic compromises on intellectual property rules for COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, and she underscored the need for cooperative action to ensure a stable, predictable and fair multilateral trading system.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated Canada’s commitment to being a trusted partner, and emphasized the target of equitably vaccinating 70 percent of the world by next September and both to protect the world’s population and ensure economic recovery. He called for a focus on vaccine readiness and delivery, and to increase the production and supply of shots. He outlined Canada’s contributions of more than $2.5 billion, including investing to share tens of millions of doses with the rest of the world and support the ACT Accelerator and COVAX. He referenced Canada’s interest in developing domestic vaccine production capacity, which would help Canada to help the world. He expressed support for working through the WTO to resolve intellectual property issues and also called for strengthened global health security infrastructure over the long term by investing in shared health institutions and strengthening global cooperation.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Chief Executive Officer Dr. Seth Berkley outlined COVAX’s leadership of the most complex, global vaccine deployment in history, which has – to date — shipped more than 300 million doses to 142 economies. He also said by the end of the year, COVAX seeks to deliver enough doses to protect about 40 percent of the adult population in the 92 lower income countries. 800 million doses have already been committed through COVAX, with 119 million received and delivered. He called leaders’ attention to serious obstacles and unacceptable inequalities in the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and he thanked President Biden for the new U.S. commitment to donate of 500 million additional doses of Pfizer vaccine, as well as embraced the ambitious summit goal of vaccinating the world and accelerating vaccination in lower income countries. He urged leaders to provide more doses, remove export restrictions, leverage innovative financing and contingency funding to support surge manufacturing capacity, give up their place in production queues to COVAX where possible, and for vaccine manufacturers to commit to greater transparency on orders and delivery timelines, and asked them to waive requirements for indemnification for the humanitarian buffer.

President Biden and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield closed the session by thanking participants and reiterating the goal of ending the pandemic, which will require ambitious, coordinated global action. President Biden noted we should set targets that require us to aim high, follow through on our commitments, and hold each other accountable in order to end this pandemic for everyone, everywhere. He concluded by noting this won’t be our last meeting.

Session I. Video Interventions

• King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (video)

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Republic of India (video)

• Chancellor Angela Merkel, Federal Republic of Germany (video)

• Bill Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (video)

Session 2. Saving Lives Now

USAID Administrator Samantha Power chaired the session, which was focused on ensuring equal access to the testing, therapeutics, and personal protective equipment that help prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19. She pointed out that even as the world focuses on the goal of achieving 70 percent vaccination, we must – at the same time – come together to ensure countries have the PPE to keep health workers safe, supply oxygen to treat people with COVID, and close the testing gap. She announced an intention to commit $50 million to increase access to oxygen in countries around the world, and that USAID would work to build a multi-sectoral coalition to coordinate global investment in oxygen access.

Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Rajiv Shah moderated the session. In his framing remarks, he reinforced the importance of the Save Lives Now agenda to helping communities and economies reopen safely amidst the pandemic. He highlighted the Rockefeller Foundation’s investment of $1 billion for pandemic response, recovery, and prevention, and announced a group of 18 diagnostic companies that are convening with the help of the Foundation to commit to expanding COVID-19 testing around the world.

Vietnam’s President Nguy?n Xuân Phúc noted the toll the pandemic has taken on ASEAN members and expressed support for the goals set out by President Biden, including the creation of a global health security fund and increased vaccine production in developing countries. He emphasized the importance of early detection and public health measures, as well as treatment and large-scale vaccination, in responding to and ending the pandemic. President Phúc noted the need to improve global cooperation and take a systemic approach, including transforming health systems and industries that produce pharmaceuticals and supplies, particularly in developing countries. He noted that Vietnam donated $500,000 to COVAX and will continue to contribute, and that Vietnam and fellow ASEAN countries have used $10.5 million from a joint COVID-19 Response Fund to purchase vaccines.

Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Dr. Carissa Etienne emphasized that COVID-19 has particularly highlighted inequities in the Americas, and explained the path to recovery will only be through an equitable approach, with a focus on resilient, high-quality health systems for all. She discussed the challenges faced by people living in poverty in following public health measures, and the particular burdens on those in the informal economy, indigenous communities, Afro descendent populations and migrants. Dr. Etienne spoke about PAHO’s delivery of 33 million COVID tests and more than $14 million worth of PPE to countries, and announced that, along with WHO, PAHO had identified two countries to initiate a mRNA vaccine manufacturing hub in the Americas.

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria Executive Director Peter Sands endorsed the Save Lives Now targets, noting that while vaccines are the most potent weapon against COVID-19, ending the pandemic will require stepped-up support to LMICS for testing, treatment, and PPE, as well as critical infection prevention and control. He noted that the Global Fund, which is the largest provider of grants to LMICS for non-vaccine COVID response, has already approved more than $3.6 billion to over 100 countries, including $478 million for oxygen equipment and supplies, $815 million for diagnostics, and $745 million for PPE. However, at a time when we must scale up these responses, Sands said that current funding will be exhausted by the end of the month, and urged increased investment in this critical response mechanism.

Skoll Foundation CEO Don Gips discussed the role of philanthropy in taking risks, supporting civil society, testing out solutions that government can adopt, and connecting civil society and government– all important components of an all-society response to COVID-19. He announced that Skoll Foundation founder Jeff Skoll has prioritized ending the pandemic and will build on the Foundation’s previous $100 million commitment with an additional $100 million to support Summit objectives, with a focus on saving lives now – particularly oxygen – and building strong health and preparedness systems for the future as a global public good. Part of their investment will support Build Health International, which will increase medical oxygen supplies in Africa. Mr. Gips emphasized the importance of alignment and coordination around a global plan to end the pandemic, saying that the success of global COVID-19 response will be an indication of our ability to tackle other complex, interconnected global problems.

Mastercard Foundation President and CEO Reeta Roy emphasized that achieving global health security requires bold and simultaneous action on all fronts. She also highlighted that we are all interconnected, and that there is no global health security without regional health security. She noted that African leaders have mobilized a collective response to the pandemic, and that the next step is to manufacture vaccines on the continent. Ms. Roy focused on African public health institutions, and expressed support for the Africa CDC’s efforts to achieve sustainable public health, detailing the Foundation’s $1.3 billion partnership with Africa CDC to purchase vaccines for 50 million people; equipping health care workers, encouraging vaccine acceptance, and increasing genomic sequencing; developing the workforce to manufacture vaccines in Africa; and strengthening the Africa CDC. She appealed to funders to support existing public health institutions.

Amref Health Africa CEO Dr. Githinji Gitahi reminded attendees of the way COVID-19 affects individual people, including those lacking oxygen treatment and health workers who lack PPE. He pointed out that the toll of COVID-19 is much larger than what has been officially counted, due to the number of people in underserved areas dying at home without treatment. He noted that saving lives now requires making connections between the global mechanisms with resources and people in affected communities and includes strengthening health systems to respond at the local level, with a focus on community ownership and accountability. He emphasized the importance of grant funding rather than loans and stressed the need to invest quickly in local systems and existing mechanisms.

Moderator Dr. Shah asked each panelist to comment briefly on the single most important thing needed to ensure we save lives now, equitably. Dr. Etienne replied with an emphasis on adequate tools to predict, prevent, and protect against COVID, as well as expanding regional vaccine production. Mr. Sands advised to “act now; act big.” Mr. Gips advocated for a coordinated global plan with real political commitment. Ms. Roy advocated for including everyone at the table to ensure an equitable response, including those hardest hit: “We act in our self-interest when we act together.” Mr.D Gitahi advised that rich countries take a step back from the vaccine queue to allow COVAX to access more, and that we strengthen existing mechanisms before building new ones.

Administrator Power closed the session by noting that we have the ability to ramp up testing, improve availability of PPE, and develop sufficient oxygen capacity to treat those in need. She advised that today’s Summit should be the start of a more coordinated effort to save lives that would be lost without our support.

Session II. Video Interventions

• Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide Japan (video)

• Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand (video)

• Tom Ford, ONE Campaign (video)

• Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Sweden (video)

• Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh (video)

Session 3. Building Back Better Global Health Security

Vice President Kamala Harris chaired the session, which was focused on building back better global health security to mitigate future biological threats and pandemics. She pointed out that nations need greater capacity now, and the world as a whole must be ready before, not after, the next pandemic. Vice President Harris issued a clear call to action to establish a global health security financial intermediary fund (FIF) to bring together new resources for pandemic preparedness, with an initial goal of reaching $10 billion in seed funding for country and corporations. She announced that the United States is prepared to contribute at least $250 million to help seed the FIF. Those funds will combat this pandemic while helping prevent the next, with an additional $850 million requested from the U.S. Congress. She also called for greater political leadership and accountability, calling for the establishment of a Global Health Threats Council to monitor progress and sound the alarm to prevent future pandemics.

Loyce Pace, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Global Affairs Director, moderated the panel with an emphasis on urgency and equity of the global response.

Prime Minister Solberg of Norway reiterated Vice President Harris’ perspective that we were not sufficiently prepared, and that we must transform ad-hoc solutions for the future. She also called for predictable health security financing, a future health security fund, and burden-sharing as an approach to funding for it. She stressed the importance of assistance beyond official development assistance, emphasized health security as a global public good, and stressed the need to strengthen WHO financing in parallel. She also strongly supported achieving global early warning networks to detect and respond to outbreaks early, research and development on vaccines, tests and treatment, with accessible technologies to all and regional production capacity, with universal equitable access. She emphasized that Norway stands ready to do its part.

Prime Minister Gaston Alphonso Browne, Antigua and Barbuda, Chair of the Conference of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) stated that CARICOM governments are committed to the 70% global vaccination target by September 2022, including in their own governments. He discussed his resolve to strengthen the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and called for international partnership. In discussing the goal of building back better, Prime Minister Browne reiterated that recovering from economic effects will be protracted because economic progress has been reversed. He discussed the importance of global public goods and the need to build health infrastructure, and stressed that none of us are safe until all of us are safe.

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Republic of Singapore and Co-chair of the G20 High Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response focused on the need for substantially more investments in pandemic preparedness. He spoke of collective investments in areas such as global networks of surveillance and early warning, health security and public health capacities at national and regional level, and vaccines and critical medical supplies. He called for urgent establishment of a new multilateral Fund of $10 billion per year, less than 0.02 percent of most national GDPs, which could catalyze public, private, and philanthropic sources, besides domestic investments within nations. He also stressed the importance of an inclusive G20-Plus Board for governance, comprising health and finance ministers, and the leaders of the WHO and the other key multilateral institutions. He ended by noting, “It will be both morally indefensible and financially myopic to defer these investments or wait for the next pandemic to overwhelm us.”

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and Co-Chair of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR) called on the UN General Assembly to hold a Special Session to approve a political declaration on the reforms required for pandemic preparedness and response, including to establish a Global Health Threats Council led by Heads of State and Government, representative of the world’s regions, and focused on both accountability and political leadership. She noted the IPPPR’s call for an International Pandemic Financing Facility to mobilize $10 billion per year and disbursements of up to $100 billion for biological crises, and commended the United States’ call for a FIF with seed contribution. She expressed concerns about the severe inequality in vaccine availability and access (50-80 per cent of wealthy populations, with only 5 per cent in poorer countries), commended efforts to redistribute surplus vaccines to the 92 low-and middle-income countries, as well as technology transfers and voluntary licensing agreements for vaccine manufacturers. Finally, she called for adequate financing to the WHO, support for community health workers as a hallmark of the COVID19 response, and the burden COVID-19 has placed on women and girls. “It is clear that the current international system failed to protect us all from this catastrophic pandemic—and it is not fit to prevent another.”

Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called for a “reset” button” on architecture for global health security, recognizing that this starts at the national, then regional, then global levels. Reflecting on urgent needs, Dr. Nkengasong pointed to the need for scaling up the workforce and frontline health workers – in order to be better prepared for the next pandemic. He discussed the need for all countries to house their own Centers for Disease Control that can serve as an emergency operation center, strengthen laboratory systems, and train the workforce. With regards to lessons learned from this pandemic, Dr. Nkengasong raised regional manufacturing and the gap between African manufacturing and African consumption of vaccines. Finally he called for innovative financing at the global and regional level, and that funding needs predictability, sustainability, and rapid access.

Chief Executive Officer Marcel Arsenault, PAX sapiens, One Earth Future Foundation, stated that COVID-19 was our “dress rehearsal” for a far more devastating pandemic. He reiterated that an effective plan and implementation will require the whole of global society to join together. In that regard, he spoke to the role of philanthropies can play since they operate by more flexible rules than government, including their capacity for long term commitments. He announced a new $200 million commitment to help future pandemics, to partner with other donors and global institutions to build a better global system. Mr. Arsenault also committed to convene other donors and experts to finance pandemic preparedness and explore creative financing mechanisms outside of transitional development assistance. He also applauded the call by Vice President Harris to establish a FIF.

Director Pace closed the session by highlighting the importance of global action toward “predictable, sustainable financing” allocated equitably to the most urgent needs and rooted in regional or local community perspectives. She emphasized the opportunity to mobilize public and private sector funds through multisector collaboration, and stressed the value of high-level political engagement and oversight.

Session III. Video Interventions

• President Moon Jae-in, Republic of Korea (video)

• Carolyn Reynolds, Pandemic Action Network (video)

• Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia (video)

• Dr. Roopa Dhatt, Women in Global Health (video)

• Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Spain (video)

• Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh (video)

Session 4. Closing of Summit

Coordinator for Global COVID-19 Response and Health Security Gayle Smith moderated the panel and focused on creating momentum, checking our progress, and constantly doing more. She asked G20 President Prime Minister Draghi to share a preview of the G20 Summit and areas in need of additional support.

Secretary Blinken announced called on leaders to end the pandemic rather than just “doing better,” and announced his intent to personally convene foreign ministers before the end of the year to follow up with commitments made at the Summit, as well as the G20. He reiterated President Biden’s call for heads of state to reconvene on this issue in the first quarter of 2022. He also called for a multilateral leaders task force made up of experts from inside and outside the government to transparently and rigorously evaluate progress in the run-up to the G20 and at regular intervals thereafter.

He stressed the target of vaccinating at least 70% of the population of every country, in every major income category, by UNGA 2022 and called on leaders to set ambitious targets with timelines that are openly tracked for progress and with accountability. He reiterated the United States’ willingness to lead, President Biden’s commitment to supply an additional 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and his commitment to work with global vaccine manufacturers to expand global and regional manufacturing for mRNA, viral vector, and protein subunit COVID-19 vaccines, as well as pledged to enhance transparency for the data on production and projections for dose manufacturing.

He also called on leaders to accelerate efforts to get more shots into arms, to reduce morbidity and mortality from the virus, to expand access to oxygen, testing, and more, building on historic support for Gavi and the Global Fund, aid to countries and communities through USAID and the CDC, Treasury Secretary Yellen’s call to action on Special Drawing Rights, and U.S. support for a waiver of intellectual property protections in the WTO TRIPS Agreement for COVID-19 vaccines in service of ending this pandemic. Finally, he recognized community and healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic, noting that the people are what’s critical to winning the fight against COVID-19. “It comes down to us. What we do in this critical moment, in the weeks ahead, in the months ahead.”

Prime Minister Mario Draghi of the Italian Republic addressed the Summit and announced a new commitment that will triple Italy’s existing dose donation pledge by providing 30 million additional doses by the end of the year. These are in addition to the 15 million doses pledged for donation, largely through COVAX, during the G20 Global Health Summit of which nearly half have been distributed to date. He called on leaders, as they work to end this pandemic, to also improve preparation for future pandemics, including by expanding the production capacity of vaccines and other medical tools worldwide – especially in the most vulnerable countries. He welcomed the U.S. proposal to establish a FIF for health security and stressed that it is fully complementary with the G20 proposal for a Global Health and Finance Board. He recalled the G20 Health Summit Rome Declaration and progress achieved since that time, including more than 2.5 million fully vaccinated worldwide. However, he stressed the grave inequalities in vaccine availability and emphasized the ACT-Accelerator and COVAX as the most effective ways to deliver and build capacity to administer. He asked countries to stand by existing pledges and make more generous ones and gave support to the EU plan to develop regional manufacturing hubs in Africa, and the U.S.-EU global vaccination partnership that launched this week. Finally, he committed that the G20 Summit will build on the outcomes from today’s summit.

Ms. Zipporah Iregi of the National Nurses Association of Kenya called on leaders to support healthcare workers and include them in decision-making. She thanked leaders for committing to these targets to save lives, vaccinate people, and build back better. She also provided insight for leaders into the plight of healthcare workers serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. She recounted staying home at the beginning of the pandemic, watching peers explore other careers. She urged leaders to support healthcare workers and help them to be prepared for the next crisis. She welcomed the U.S. announcement of additional vaccine sharing. She expressed concerns about impending shortages of healthcare workers and called on leaders to support and recruit more healthcare workers, including ensuring they are paid on time and provided with personal protective equipment that is necessary to provide care.

Mr. Lwazi Mlaba a COVID-19 Survivor and Global Health and Global Fund Champion, provided final remarks for the Summit, sharing his personal journey with long COVID and advocating for urgency to strengthen community assistance and support investments to expand community healthcare workers. He noted that his survival depended on them. He called for Universal Health Coverage and for global solidarity and leadership to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. He ended by saying, powerfully, “We know what we need to do. We know how we need to do it. The time has come to actually do it. Invest now, invest big. Let’s go now and do it.”

Summit Participants

More than 100 governments and other partners participated in the President Biden’s Global COVID-19 Summit on September 22, 2021.

Principality of Andorra; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentine Republic; Republic of Armenia; Commonwealth of Australia; Republic of Austria; Commonwealth of The Bahamas; Kingdom of Bahrain; People’s Republic of Bangladesh; Barbados; Kingdom of Belgium; Belize; Kingdom of Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Republic of Botswana; Brunei Darussalam; Kingdom of Cambodia; Republic of Cameroon; Canada; Republic of Chile; Republic of Colombia; Republic of Cote d’Ivoire; Republic of Croatia; Czech Republic; Kingdom of Denmark; Commonwealth of Dominica; Arab Republic of Egypt; Republic of Estonia; Kingdom of Eswatini; Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; European Commission; Republic of Finland; Gabonese Republic; Georgia; Federal Republic of Germany; Republic of Ghana; Hellenic Republic (Greece); Grenada; Republic of Guatemala; Republic of Guinea-Bissau; Cooperative Republic of Guyana; Republic of Haiti; Republic of Iceland; Republic of India; Republic of Indonesia; Ireland; State of Israel; Italian Republic; Jamaica; Japan; Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Republic of Kazakhstan; Republic of Kenya; Republic of Kiribati; Republic of Korea; Republic of Kosovo; Kyrgyz Republic; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Republic of Latvia; State of Libya; Republic of Lithuania; Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; Republic of Malawi; Malaysia; Republic of Malta; Republic of Mauritius; Federated States of Micronesia; Republic of Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Kingdom of Morocco; Republic of Mozambique; Republic of Namibia; Nepal; Kingdom of the Netherlands; New Zealand; Federal Republic of Nigeria; Republic of North Macedonia; Kingdom of Norway; Sultanate of Oman; Islamic Republic of Pakistan; Republic of Palau; Palestinian Authority; Republic of Peru; Republic of the Philippines; Republic of Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Republic of Serbia; Republic of Sierra Leone; Republic of Singapore; Federal Republic of Somalia; Republic of South Africa; Kingdom of Spain; Sri Lanka; Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis; Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; St Vincent and Grenadines; Republic of the Sudan; Republic of Suriname; Kingdom of Sweden; Swiss Confederation; Taiwan; Kingdom of Thailand; Togolese Republic; Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Republic of Tunisia; Republic of Turkey; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; United Nations General Assembly (Republic of Maldives); Republic of Uzbekistan; Republic of Vanuatu; Socialist Republic of Vietnam; Republic of Yemen; Republic of Zambia; Zimbabwe

International Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Private Sector, and Philanthropies

More than 100 International Organizations, non-governmental organizations, private sector, and philanthropies participated in the President Biden’s Global COVID-19 Summit on September 22, 2021.

Abbott; Access Bio; AdvaMedDX; Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (AFRO); African Development Bank; African Union; Alphabet Inc.; American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico; American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa; American Clinical Laboratory Association; American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; Amref Health Africa; American Public Health Association; Asian Development Bank; Association of Public Health Laboratories; Association of Southeast Asian Nations; Becton, Dickinson and Company; Biotechnology Innovation Organization; Boston Consulting Group; CARE; Caribbean Public Health Agency; The Carter Center; CDC Foundation; Center for Supporting Community; Core Group; Development Initiatives; Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations; The Clinton Foundation; Clinton Health Access Initiative; CORE Group; COVID Collaborative; Danaher Corporation; Deloitte; Emory University; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Friends of the Global Fight; The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Ginkgo Bioworks; Global Citizen; Global Communities; The Global Fund; Global Poverty Project; Global Health Council; Global Health Technologies Coalition; Health GAP; Hologic, Inc.; International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations; International Monetary Fund; InterAction; International Air Transport Association; International Atomic Energy Agency; International Civil Aviation Organization; International Committee of the Red Cross; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; International Maritime Organization ; International Organization for Migration; International Vaccine Institute; IntraHealth International; Johnson & Johnson; Jubilee; LEGO Foundation; JustActions; LumiraDx; Marked by COVID; Mastercard Foundation; Matahari Global Solutions; Mayo Clinic Laboratories; McKinsey & Company; Merck Group; MilliporeSigma; National Nurses Association of Kenya; NETWORK for Catholic Social Justice; Nuclear Threat Initiative; ONE Campaign; One Earth Future Foundation; Open Society Foundations; OraSure Technologies; Oxfam America; Pan American Health Organization; Pandefense Advisory; Pandemic Action Network; PATH; PerkinElmer; Pfizer Inc.; Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; Public Citizen; Public Health Foundation of India; QIAGEN; Roche; The Rockefeller Foundation; Sabin Vaccine Institute; SalivaDirect at the Yale School of Public Health; Save the Children; Schmidt Futures; Seed Global Health; The Skoll Foundation; Sustainable Energy for All; Thermo Fisher Scientific; United States Chamber of Commerce; United Nations Foundation; Unitaid; United Nations Children’s Fund; United Nations Environment Programme; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; United Parcel Service; The United States Global Leadership Coalition ; World Health Organization; Women in Global Health; World Bank Group; World Food Programme; WOTE Kenya; World Trade Organization

Source: The White House

ZCZC

Naris talks tough ahead of Cosafa champs

Brave Gladiators Vice- Captain Eddelsisingh Naris has expressed credence in the team ahead of their campaign at the 2021 COSAFA Women’s Championship that kicks off on the 28th September till 9 October, in South Africa.

The no-nonsense defender Naris says the morale in camp has been exceptional, with everyone bonding as expected.

Following weeks of training, she believes the team looks promising and anticipates carrying the same energy into the tournament.

“Preparations have been going well, we are pleased with the coach and his tactics. We did not participate last year, so this year we are going in strong with hopes of going through to the next round. Like our Coach said, Cosafa is great preparation for the upcoming match against Tanzania, where we plan to put up a warriors match.”

A gratified new addition to the Brave Gladiators Gaironeeza Maclobo, who says she has worked hard for a national call up, now anxiously awaits to make her country proud.

The 23-year-old Striker who hails from the coastal town of Namibia is an Industrial Psychology student at the Stellenbosch University, where she plays for Maties Women’s FC.

“I am beyond proud to have an amazing group of women beside me. I go into this tournament with hopes of making my debut and working with my team to help my country reach new heights for Women’s football’ Maclobo states.

Namibia open their Cosafa Women’s Championship with a Group C clash against guest nation Uganda on 30 September. Zambia and Eswatini are the other teams in the group. Only the top team per pool and best-placed runner-up progress to the semi-finals.

Interim Coach Woody Jacobs will trim his team down to a squad of twenty-five players, before leaving for South Africa on Monday.

Provisional Brave Gladiators team: Agnes Kauzuu, Mellissa Matheus, Sussanna Eises, Anna-Marie Shikusho, Annouschka Kordom, Asteria Angula, Beverly Ueziua, Eddelsisingh Emma Naris, Elmarie Fredericks, Fiola Vliete, Gaironeeza Maclobo, Gweneth Narises, Iina Katuta, Juliana Blou, Kamunikire Tjituka, Lorraine Jossob, Lovisa Mulunga, Lydianna Nanamus, Memory Ngonda, Millicent Hikuam, Rita Williams, Selma Enkali, Thomalina Adams,Twelikondjela Amukoto, Veronika Van Wyk, Kylie Van Wyk, Shanice Daries and Julia Rutjindo.

Source: The White House

ZCZC

Botswana

Global COVID-?19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better

On September 22, 2021, President Biden convened a virtual Global COVID-19 Summit focused on ending the pandemic and building better health security to prevent and prepare for future biological threats.

The President called on the world to collectively end the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as possible, with every country, partner, and organization doing its part, aligning around shared goals and targets, and holding each other to account. At the same time, all countries need the capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats, including future pandemics. The Summit introduced ambitious targets in three critical areas for ending this pandemic and preventing and preparing for the next: Vaccinate the World; Save Lives Now; and Build Back Better.

President Biden hosted the virtual Global COVID Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better, which included participation by representatives from more than 100 governments and other partners and more than 100 leaders from international organizations, the private sector, the philanthropic sector, civil society, academia, and other stakeholders. These are listed below.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed over 4.5 million lives and continues to ravage communities and economies around the world. President Biden called on Summit participants to not only do more, but to do enough to end the pandemic and build back better.

President Biden was also joined at the Summit by Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power, Department of Health and Human Services Director of the Office of Global Affairs Loyce Pace, and State Department Coordinator for the Global COVID-19 Response and Health Security Gayle Smith. The full list of participants is available below.

Throughout the Summit, leaders of countries and organizations underscored the importance of coalescing around shared targets to align commitments with outcomes, as all parties worked together to: Vaccinate the World, Save Lives Now, and Build Back Better Global Health Security over the months ahead. Reaching these targets will require leadership, ambition, boldness, collaboration, transparency, and new commitments.

In advance of and during the Summit, many countries and stakeholders announced their intention to donate vaccines and financial support to critical vaccine readiness activities to ensure shots get into arms around the world. Leaders broadly aligned around the World Health Organization (WHO) target of vaccinating at least 70 percent of the global population in every country by UNGA 2022 and expressed shared urgency to do more, to act now, to enhance accountability, and to monitor progress. To advance this effort, President Biden called for another Heads of State-level Summit in the first quarter of 2022, and Secretary Blinken committed to convene Foreign Ministers in 2021. Countries made new commitments to share doses and/or double or triple previous pledges for vaccines, delivery, oxygen and testing support, and health security.

Participants from around the world and across sectors, listed below, brought commitments to the Summit – further details will be available over the coming days. While the event was not a pledging conference, participants’ combined commitments exceeded 850 million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses and major new commitments for vaccine readiness, oxygen, testing, health systems, and health security financing.

A list of new commitments announced by the United States at or around the Summit can be found in this Fact Sheet.

A link to the common targets released by the United States during the Summit for tracking and accountability can be found here.

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Session 1. Calling the World to Account and Vaccinating the World

President Biden chaired the opening session of the Summit, which was focused on the need for all countries, organizations, and stakeholders to do more to make COVID-19 vaccines available to all people, everywhere. He was joined by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Participants echoed President Biden’s call to align around common targets, more urgently track progress, and support one another in fulfilling commitments. World leaders embraced the World Health Organization goal of fully vaccinating at least 70 percent of the population in every country and income category with quality, safe, and effective vaccines by UNGA 2022, and leaders called for more urgent and equitable distribution of vaccine doses.

President Biden announced bold new commitments from the United States to supply an additional 500 million doses of Pfizer vaccine that will all be shipped by this time next year, bringing the U.S. total commitment of donated vaccines to over 1.1 billion.

He also announced that the United States is stepping up efforts to get shots into arms and boost global manufacturing. He encouraged countries to join the United States in upholding a set of principles to ensure we can fulfill our collective global commitments for equitable global distribution of safe and effective WHO Emergency Use Listed-authorized COVID-19 vaccines. Those principles include committing to donate, rather than sell, doses to low- and lower-middle income countries with no political strings attached; to support COVAX as the main mechanism for sharing WHO-authorized vaccines; to fight vaccine disinformation; to exercise transparency; to build public trust; and to work toward common goals and targets to measure progress and to hold ourselves and each accountable. The President acknowledged efforts through the Quad partnership to help produce at least 1 billion vaccine doses in India to boost the global vaccine supply by the end of 2022, as well as U.S. financing to help strengthen manufacturing in South Africa and produce more than 500 million J&J doses in Africa for Africa by next year.

President Biden also emphasized the vital logistical challenge of getting those vaccines into the arms of people, and he called on all participants to significantly step up investments in this area. He announced a commitment of an additional $370 million to support global vaccine readiness and delivery, and he committed more than $380 million in assistance for Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, to provide political risk insurance to facilitate shipment of vaccines to nine countries across three continents. In addition, he called on countries, vaccine manufacturers, and other partners to expand global and regional vaccine manufacturing capacity and enhance transparency to make vaccine production and distribution more predictable and coordinated. He emphasized the United States is working with partner nations and manufacturer to increase their capability to produce and make safe and highly effective vaccines in their own countries.

The President also underscored the importance of saving lives now, and noted the United States is providing nearly $1.4 billion to reduce COVID-19 deaths and mitigate transmission through bulk oxygen support, expanded testing, strengthening healthcare systems and more.

Finally, President Biden emphasized U.S. support for the establishment of a global health security financing mechanism to prepare for the next pandemic, which Vice President Harris detailed later in the Summit. He closed the meeting by calling on leaders to set targets that require us to aim high, follow through on our commitments, and hold each other accountable to end the pandemic and advance health security for all.

Finally, President Biden called for a whole of society response, with an ask for the private sector, country governments, philanthropies, and civil society to take up the U.S. call to action to solve core challenges toward ending the pandemic and building back better – including making vaccinations available to everyone, everywhere; solving the oxygen crisis; financing health security, and more. Representatives from businesses, foundations, and civil society joined global leaders at the Summit. Some of those leaders announced coalitions to combine funds, expertise, and capacity to help realize specific challenges within each of the goals, for example addressing the global oxygen crisis, closing the testing gap, and ensuring vaccines are delivered and administered.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global vaccination plan to at least double vaccine production and ensure 2.3 billion doses are equitably distributed through COVAX to reach 40 percent of people in all countries by the end of this year, and 70 percent in the first half of 2022 as WHO recommends. He framed global vaccination not as philanthropy but as self-interest for all parties, emphasizing the need for low and lower-middle income countries (LMICs) to have the resources and technology to manufacture their own vaccines. He also called for better resourced and stronger global health security architecture. The United Nations will continue to support vaccine rollout in countries and communities that are hardest to reach.

World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom-Ghebreyesus emphasized the importance ofmultilateralism in addressing the disparity in vaccine access between high- and low-income countries. He praised the new U.S. vaccine commitment and called on countries to work with companies to swap places with other countries in vaccine queues, for countries to fulfill dose share pledges immediately, and for sharing the intellectual property necessary to facilitate manufacturing around the world. He observed that we owe it to those who lost their lives to build better governance, financing, systems, and tools to ensure global health security. He called on leaders to support the vaccination of at least 40 percent of the population of every country by the end of this year and 70 percent by mid-2022. He also called on those who control existing vaccine supplies to ensure that 2 billion doses are provided rapidly to LMICs in order to begin meeting these targets, as the Secretary General highlighted.

Republic of South Africa’s President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the risks of not reaching the vaccination targets set out in the Summit, and discussed how the pandemic exacerbates the global vaccine gap and the ways it undermines global health security. He also affirmed the importance of enabling countries to do their own vaccine manufacturing and procurement, and called on WTO member states to approve the TRIPS waiver proposal from South Africa, India, and other co-sponsors. He shared the African Union’s impactful work in hosting the first mRNA tech transfer on the African continent, then called for a sustainable plan to support LMICs through technology and finance to meet vaccine targets. He also supported the establishment of a global health security financial intermediary fund for pandemic preparedness, a Global Health Threats Council, and Secretary-General Guterres’ proposal for a global vaccination plan.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described the pandemic as one of the most pressing societal challenges we have ever faced. To help address this challenge, she announced a new European Union partnership with the United States to help vaccinate the world with a joint objective of a 70 percent global vaccination rate by UNGA 2022. The EU-U.S. global vaccination partnership seeks to expand supply and improve delivery while managing constraints to supply chains. This partnership will seek to boost vaccine production in LMICs and coordinate investments to build regional manufacturing. The EU is investing more than €1 billion with partners in Africa and the pharmaceutical sector to bring mRNA technology to the continent beginning with hubs in South Africa, and Senegal, and Rwanda. She reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to share more than 500 million doses by the middle of next year, and the EU commitment that every second dose of vaccine produced in Europe is shipped abroad (to date, 800 million doses). President von der Leyen also committed that the EU will work with the United States and within the G20 to establish a global health security FIF to help build a healthy and secure future.

Republic of Indonesia President Joko Widodo called for the strengthening of theglobal health architecture and for a new mechanism to mobilize resources. He articulated the need for LMICs to be part of the solution, by enhancing capacity to manufacture of vaccines, medicines, and supplies. He appealed for an end to vaccine nationalism, and said Indonesia as G20 chair next year will focus on strengthening the global health security architecture and preparing for future challenges.

World Trade Organization Director-General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala noted the urgency of preventing more people from dying in poor countries due to lack of access to lifesaving vaccines and other medical countermeasures. She emphasized the risk of the pandemic to economic recovery, if slow vaccination progress allows the emergence of even more dangerous variants, saying, “Either we converge downwards by allowing the virus to drag all of us back down, or we converge upwards by vaccinating the world.” She noted the centrality of trade in this effort, and she provided the example of the Pfizer- BioNTech and Moderna vaccines requiring inputs from nineteen countries. She reiterated the importance of the WTO’s work to reduce export restrictions, address supply bottlenecks, and smooth regulatory obstacles. She called on industry to donate doses and swap contracts so that COVAX and less advantaged countries can move up in the queue and receive supplies for distribution. She urged leaders to find pragmatic compromises on intellectual property rules for COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, and she underscored the need for cooperative action to ensure a stable, predictable and fair multilateral trading system.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated Canada’s commitment to being a trusted partner, and emphasized the target of equitably vaccinating 70 percent of the world by next September and both to protect the world’s population and ensure economic recovery. He called for a focus on vaccine readiness and delivery, and to increase the production and supply of shots. He outlined Canada’s contributions of more than $2.5 billion, including investing to share tens of millions of doses with the rest of the world and support the ACT Accelerator and COVAX. He referenced Canada’s interest in developing domestic vaccine production capacity, which would help Canada to help the world. He expressed support for working through the WTO to resolve intellectual property issues and also called for strengthened global health security infrastructure over the long term by investing in shared health institutions and strengthening global cooperation.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Chief Executive Officer Dr. Seth Berkley outlined COVAX’s leadership of the most complex, global vaccine deployment in history, which has – to date — shipped more than 300 million doses to 142 economies. He also said by the end of the year, COVAX seeks to deliver enough doses to protect about 40 percent of the adult population in the 92 lower income countries. 800 million doses have already been committed through COVAX, with 119 million received and delivered. He called leaders’ attention to serious obstacles and unacceptable inequalities in the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and he thanked President Biden for the new U.S. commitment to donate of 500 million additional doses of Pfizer vaccine, as well as embraced the ambitious summit goal of vaccinating the world and accelerating vaccination in lower income countries. He urged leaders to provide more doses, remove export restrictions, leverage innovative financing and contingency funding to support surge manufacturing capacity, give up their place in production queues to COVAX where possible, and for vaccine manufacturers to commit to greater transparency on orders and delivery timelines, and asked them to waive requirements for indemnification for the humanitarian buffer.

President Biden and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield closed the session by thanking participants and reiterating the goal of ending the pandemic, which will require ambitious, coordinated global action. President Biden noted we should set targets that require us to aim high, follow through on our commitments, and hold each other accountable in order to end this pandemic for everyone, everywhere. He concluded by noting this won’t be our last meeting.

Session I. Video Interventions

• King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (video)

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Republic of India (video)

• Chancellor Angela Merkel, Federal Republic of Germany (video)

• Bill Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (video)

Session 2. Saving Lives Now

USAID Administrator Samantha Power chaired the session, which was focused on ensuring equal access to the testing, therapeutics, and personal protective equipment that help prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19. She pointed out that even as the world focuses on the goal of achieving 70 percent vaccination, we must – at the same time – come together to ensure countries have the PPE to keep health workers safe, supply oxygen to treat people with COVID, and close the testing gap. She announced an intention to commit $50 million to increase access to oxygen in countries around the world, and that USAID would work to build a multi-sectoral coalition to coordinate global investment in oxygen access.

Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Rajiv Shah moderated the session. In his framing remarks, he reinforced the importance of the Save Lives Now agenda to helping communities and economies reopen safely amidst the pandemic. He highlighted the Rockefeller Foundation’s investment of $1 billion for pandemic response, recovery, and prevention, and announced a group of 18 diagnostic companies that are convening with the help of the Foundation to commit to expanding COVID-19 testing around the world.

Vietnam’s President Nguy?n Xuân Phúc noted the toll the pandemic has taken on ASEAN members and expressed support for the goals set out by President Biden, including the creation of a global health security fund and increased vaccine production in developing countries. He emphasized the importance of early detection and public health measures, as well as treatment and large-scale vaccination, in responding to and ending the pandemic. President Phúc noted the need to improve global cooperation and take a systemic approach, including transforming health systems and industries that produce pharmaceuticals and supplies, particularly in developing countries. He noted that Vietnam donated $500,000 to COVAX and will continue to contribute, and that Vietnam and fellow ASEAN countries have used $10.5 million from a joint COVID-19 Response Fund to purchase vaccines.

Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Dr. Carissa Etienne emphasized that COVID-19 has particularly highlighted inequities in the Americas, and explained the path to recovery will only be through an equitable approach, with a focus on resilient, high-quality health systems for all. She discussed the challenges faced by people living in poverty in following public health measures, and the particular burdens on those in the informal economy, indigenous communities, Afro descendent populations and migrants. Dr. Etienne spoke about PAHO’s delivery of 33 million COVID tests and more than $14 million worth of PPE to countries, and announced that, along with WHO, PAHO had identified two countries to initiate a mRNA vaccine manufacturing hub in the Americas.

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria Executive Director Peter Sands endorsed the Save Lives Now targets, noting that while vaccines are the most potent weapon against COVID-19, ending the pandemic will require stepped-up support to LMICS for testing, treatment, and PPE, as well as critical infection prevention and control. He noted that the Global Fund, which is the largest provider of grants to LMICS for non-vaccine COVID response, has already approved more than $3.6 billion to over 100 countries, including $478 million for oxygen equipment and supplies, $815 million for diagnostics, and $745 million for PPE. However, at a time when we must scale up these responses, Sands said that current funding will be exhausted by the end of the month, and urged increased investment in this critical response mechanism.

Skoll Foundation CEO Don Gips discussed the role of philanthropy in taking risks, supporting civil society, testing out solutions that government can adopt, and connecting civil society and government– all important components of an all-society response to COVID-19. He announced that Skoll Foundation founder Jeff Skoll has prioritized ending the pandemic and will build on the Foundation’s previous $100 million commitment with an additional $100 million to support Summit objectives, with a focus on saving lives now – particularly oxygen – and building strong health and preparedness systems for the future as a global public good. Part of their investment will support Build Health International, which will increase medical oxygen supplies in Africa. Mr. Gips emphasized the importance of alignment and coordination around a global plan to end the pandemic, saying that the success of global COVID-19 response will be an indication of our ability to tackle other complex, interconnected global problems.

Mastercard Foundation President and CEO Reeta Roy emphasized that achieving global health security requires bold and simultaneous action on all fronts. She also highlighted that we are all interconnected, and that there is no global health security without regional health security. She noted that African leaders have mobilized a collective response to the pandemic, and that the next step is to manufacture vaccines on the continent. Ms. Roy focused on African public health institutions, and expressed support for the Africa CDC’s efforts to achieve sustainable public health, detailing the Foundation’s $1.3 billion partnership with Africa CDC to purchase vaccines for 50 million people; equipping health care workers, encouraging vaccine acceptance, and increasing genomic sequencing; developing the workforce to manufacture vaccines in Africa; and strengthening the Africa CDC. She appealed to funders to support existing public health institutions.

Amref Health Africa CEO Dr. Githinji Gitahi reminded attendees of the way COVID-19 affects individual people, including those lacking oxygen treatment and health workers who lack PPE. He pointed out that the toll of COVID-19 is much larger than what has been officially counted, due to the number of people in underserved areas dying at home without treatment. He noted that saving lives now requires making connections between the global mechanisms with resources and people in affected communities and includes strengthening health systems to respond at the local level, with a focus on community ownership and accountability. He emphasized the importance of grant funding rather than loans and stressed the need to invest quickly in local systems and existing mechanisms.

Moderator Dr. Shah asked each panelist to comment briefly on the single most important thing needed to ensure we save lives now, equitably. Dr. Etienne replied with an emphasis on adequate tools to predict, prevent, and protect against COVID, as well as expanding regional vaccine production. Mr. Sands advised to “act now; act big.” Mr. Gips advocated for a coordinated global plan with real political commitment. Ms. Roy advocated for including everyone at the table to ensure an equitable response, including those hardest hit: “We act in our self-interest when we act together.” Mr.D Gitahi advised that rich countries take a step back from the vaccine queue to allow COVAX to access more, and that we strengthen existing mechanisms before building new ones.

Administrator Power closed the session by noting that we have the ability to ramp up testing, improve availability of PPE, and develop sufficient oxygen capacity to treat those in need. She advised that today’s Summit should be the start of a more coordinated effort to save lives that would be lost without our support.

Session II. Video Interventions

• Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide Japan (video)

• Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand (video)

• Tom Ford, ONE Campaign (video)

• Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Sweden (video)

• Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh (video)

Session 3. Building Back Better Global Health Security

Vice President Kamala Harris chaired the session, which was focused on building back better global health security to mitigate future biological threats and pandemics. She pointed out that nations need greater capacity now, and the world as a whole must be ready before, not after, the next pandemic. Vice President Harris issued a clear call to action to establish a global health security financial intermediary fund (FIF) to bring together new resources for pandemic preparedness, with an initial goal of reaching $10 billion in seed funding for country and corporations. She announced that the United States is prepared to contribute at least $250 million to help seed the FIF. Those funds will combat this pandemic while helping prevent the next, with an additional $850 million requested from the U.S. Congress. She also called for greater political leadership and accountability, calling for the establishment of a Global Health Threats Council to monitor progress and sound the alarm to prevent future pandemics.

Loyce Pace, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Global Affairs Director, moderated the panel with an emphasis on urgency and equity of the global response.

Prime Minister Solberg of Norway reiterated Vice President Harris’ perspective that we were not sufficiently prepared, and that we must transform ad-hoc solutions for the future. She also called for predictable health security financing, a future health security fund, and burden-sharing as an approach to funding for it. She stressed the importance of assistance beyond official development assistance, emphasized health security as a global public good, and stressed the need to strengthen WHO financing in parallel. She also strongly supported achieving global early warning networks to detect and respond to outbreaks early, research and development on vaccines, tests and treatment, with accessible technologies to all and regional production capacity, with universal equitable access. She emphasized that Norway stands ready to do its part.

Prime Minister Gaston Alphonso Browne, Antigua and Barbuda, Chair of the Conference of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) stated that CARICOM governments are committed to the 70% global vaccination target by September 2022, including in their own governments. He discussed his resolve to strengthen the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and called for international partnership. In discussing the goal of building back better, Prime Minister Browne reiterated that recovering from economic effects will be protracted because economic progress has been reversed. He discussed the importance of global public goods and the need to build health infrastructure, and stressed that none of us are safe until all of us are safe.

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Republic of Singapore and Co-chair of the G20 High Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response focused on the need for substantially more investments in pandemic preparedness. He spoke of collective investments in areas such as global networks of surveillance and early warning, health security and public health capacities at national and regional level, and vaccines and critical medical supplies. He called for urgent establishment of a new multilateral Fund of $10 billion per year, less than 0.02 percent of most national GDPs, which could catalyze public, private, and philanthropic sources, besides domestic investments within nations. He also stressed the importance of an inclusive G20-Plus Board for governance, comprising health and finance ministers, and the leaders of the WHO and the other key multilateral institutions. He ended by noting, “It will be both morally indefensible and financially myopic to defer these investments or wait for the next pandemic to overwhelm us.”

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and Co-Chair of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR) called on the UN General Assembly to hold a Special Session to approve a political declaration on the reforms required for pandemic preparedness and response, including to establish a Global Health Threats Council led by Heads of State and Government, representative of the world’s regions, and focused on both accountability and political leadership. She noted the IPPPR’s call for an International Pandemic Financing Facility to mobilize $10 billion per year and disbursements of up to $100 billion for biological crises, and commended the United States’ call for a FIF with seed contribution. She expressed concerns about the severe inequality in vaccine availability and access (50-80 per cent of wealthy populations, with only 5 per cent in poorer countries), commended efforts to redistribute surplus vaccines to the 92 low-and middle-income countries, as well as technology transfers and voluntary licensing agreements for vaccine manufacturers. Finally, she called for adequate financing to the WHO, support for community health workers as a hallmark of the COVID19 response, and the burden COVID-19 has placed on women and girls. “It is clear that the current international system failed to protect us all from this catastrophic pandemic—and it is not fit to prevent another.”

Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called for a “reset” button” on architecture for global health security, recognizing that this starts at the national, then regional, then global levels. Reflecting on urgent needs, Dr. Nkengasong pointed to the need for scaling up the workforce and frontline health workers – in order to be better prepared for the next pandemic. He discussed the need for all countries to house their own Centers for Disease Control that can serve as an emergency operation center, strengthen laboratory systems, and train the workforce. With regards to lessons learned from this pandemic, Dr. Nkengasong raised regional manufacturing and the gap between African manufacturing and African consumption of vaccines. Finally he called for innovative financing at the global and regional level, and that funding needs predictability, sustainability, and rapid access.

Chief Executive Officer Marcel Arsenault, PAX sapiens, One Earth Future Foundation, stated that COVID-19 was our “dress rehearsal” for a far more devastating pandemic. He reiterated that an effective plan and implementation will require the whole of global society to join together. In that regard, he spoke to the role of philanthropies can play since they operate by more flexible rules than government, including their capacity for long term commitments. He announced a new $200 million commitment to help future pandemics, to partner with other donors and global institutions to build a better global system. Mr. Arsenault also committed to convene other donors and experts to finance pandemic preparedness and explore creative financing mechanisms outside of transitional development assistance. He also applauded the call by Vice President Harris to establish a FIF.

Director Pace closed the session by highlighting the importance of global action toward “predictable, sustainable financing” allocated equitably to the most urgent needs and rooted in regional or local community perspectives. She emphasized the opportunity to mobilize public and private sector funds through multisector collaboration, and stressed the value of high-level political engagement and oversight.

Session III. Video Interventions

• President Moon Jae-in, Republic of Korea (video)

• Carolyn Reynolds, Pandemic Action Network (video)

• Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia (video)

• Dr. Roopa Dhatt, Women in Global Health (video)

• Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Spain (video)

• Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh (video)

Session 4. Closing of Summit

Coordinator for Global COVID-19 Response and Health Security Gayle Smith moderated the panel and focused on creating momentum, checking our progress, and constantly doing more. She asked G20 President Prime Minister Draghi to share a preview of the G20 Summit and areas in need of additional support.

Secretary Blinken announced called on leaders to end the pandemic rather than just “doing better,” and announced his intent to personally convene foreign ministers before the end of the year to follow up with commitments made at the Summit, as well as the G20. He reiterated President Biden’s call for heads of state to reconvene on this issue in the first quarter of 2022. He also called for a multilateral leaders task force made up of experts from inside and outside the government to transparently and rigorously evaluate progress in the run-up to the G20 and at regular intervals thereafter.

He stressed the target of vaccinating at least 70% of the population of every country, in every major income category, by UNGA 2022 and called on leaders to set ambitious targets with timelines that are openly tracked for progress and with accountability. He reiterated the United States’ willingness to lead, President Biden’s commitment to supply an additional 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and his commitment to work with global vaccine manufacturers to expand global and regional manufacturing for mRNA, viral vector, and protein subunit COVID-19 vaccines, as well as pledged to enhance transparency for the data on production and projections for dose manufacturing.

He also called on leaders to accelerate efforts to get more shots into arms, to reduce morbidity and mortality from the virus, to expand access to oxygen, testing, and more, building on historic support for Gavi and the Global Fund, aid to countries and communities through USAID and the CDC, Treasury Secretary Yellen’s call to action on Special Drawing Rights, and U.S. support for a waiver of intellectual property protections in the WTO TRIPS Agreement for COVID-19 vaccines in service of ending this pandemic. Finally, he recognized community and healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic, noting that the people are what’s critical to winning the fight against COVID-19. “It comes down to us. What we do in this critical moment, in the weeks ahead, in the months ahead.”

Prime Minister Mario Draghi of the Italian Republic addressed the Summit and announced a new commitment that will triple Italy’s existing dose donation pledge by providing 30 million additional doses by the end of the year. These are in addition to the 15 million doses pledged for donation, largely through COVAX, during the G20 Global Health Summit of which nearly half have been distributed to date. He called on leaders, as they work to end this pandemic, to also improve preparation for future pandemics, including by expanding the production capacity of vaccines and other medical tools worldwide – especially in the most vulnerable countries. He welcomed the U.S. proposal to establish a FIF for health security and stressed that it is fully complementary with the G20 proposal for a Global Health and Finance Board. He recalled the G20 Health Summit Rome Declaration and progress achieved since that time, including more than 2.5 million fully vaccinated worldwide. However, he stressed the grave inequalities in vaccine availability and emphasized the ACT-Accelerator and COVAX as the most effective ways to deliver and build capacity to administer. He asked countries to stand by existing pledges and make more generous ones and gave support to the EU plan to develop regional manufacturing hubs in Africa, and the U.S.-EU global vaccination partnership that launched this week. Finally, he committed that the G20 Summit will build on the outcomes from today’s summit.

Ms. Zipporah Iregi of the National Nurses Association of Kenya called on leaders to support healthcare workers and include them in decision-making. She thanked leaders for committing to these targets to save lives, vaccinate people, and build back better. She also provided insight for leaders into the plight of healthcare workers serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. She recounted staying home at the beginning of the pandemic, watching peers explore other careers. She urged leaders to support healthcare workers and help them to be prepared for the next crisis. She welcomed the U.S. announcement of additional vaccine sharing. She expressed concerns about impending shortages of healthcare workers and called on leaders to support and recruit more healthcare workers, including ensuring they are paid on time and provided with personal protective equipment that is necessary to provide care.

Mr. Lwazi Mlaba a COVID-19 Survivor and Global Health and Global Fund Champion, provided final remarks for the Summit, sharing his personal journey with long COVID and advocating for urgency to strengthen community assistance and support investments to expand community healthcare workers. He noted that his survival depended on them. He called for Universal Health Coverage and for global solidarity and leadership to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. He ended by saying, powerfully, “We know what we need to do. We know how we need to do it. The time has come to actually do it. Invest now, invest big. Let’s go now and do it.”

Summit Participants

More than 100 governments and other partners participated in the President Biden’s Global COVID-19 Summit on September 22, 2021.

Principality of Andorra; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentine Republic; Republic of Armenia; Commonwealth of Australia; Republic of Austria; Commonwealth of The Bahamas; Kingdom of Bahrain; People’s Republic of Bangladesh; Barbados; Kingdom of Belgium; Belize; Kingdom of Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Republic of Botswana; Brunei Darussalam; Kingdom of Cambodia; Republic of Cameroon; Canada; Republic of Chile; Republic of Colombia; Republic of Cote d’Ivoire; Republic of Croatia; Czech Republic; Kingdom of Denmark; Commonwealth of Dominica; Arab Republic of Egypt; Republic of Estonia; Kingdom of Eswatini; Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; European Commission; Republic of Finland; Gabonese Republic; Georgia; Federal Republic of Germany; Republic of Ghana; Hellenic Republic (Greece); Grenada; Republic of Guatemala; Republic of Guinea-Bissau; Cooperative Republic of Guyana; Republic of Haiti; Republic of Iceland; Republic of India; Republic of Indonesia; Ireland; State of Israel; Italian Republic; Jamaica; Japan; Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Republic of Kazakhstan; Republic of Kenya; Republic of Kiribati; Republic of Korea; Republic of Kosovo; Kyrgyz Republic; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Republic of Latvia; State of Libya; Republic of Lithuania; Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; Republic of Malawi; Malaysia; Republic of Malta; Republic of Mauritius; Federated States of Micronesia; Republic of Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Kingdom of Morocco; Republic of Mozambique; Republic of Namibia; Nepal; Kingdom of the Netherlands; New Zealand; Federal Republic of Nigeria; Republic of North Macedonia; Kingdom of Norway; Sultanate of Oman; Islamic Republic of Pakistan; Republic of Palau; Palestinian Authority; Republic of Peru; Republic of the Philippines; Republic of Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Republic of Serbia; Republic of Sierra Leone; Republic of Singapore; Federal Republic of Somalia; Republic of South Africa; Kingdom of Spain; Sri Lanka; Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis; Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; St Vincent and Grenadines; Republic of the Sudan; Republic of Suriname; Kingdom of Sweden; Swiss Confederation; Taiwan; Kingdom of Thailand; Togolese Republic; Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Republic of Tunisia; Republic of Turkey; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; United Nations General Assembly (Republic of Maldives); Republic of Uzbekistan; Republic of Vanuatu; Socialist Republic of Vietnam; Republic of Yemen; Republic of Zambia; Zimbabwe

International Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Private Sector, and Philanthropies

More than 100 International Organizations, non-governmental organizations, private sector, and philanthropies participated in the President Biden’s Global COVID-19 Summit on September 22, 2021.

Abbott; Access Bio; AdvaMedDX; Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (AFRO); African Development Bank; African Union; Alphabet Inc.; American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico; American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa; American Clinical Laboratory Association; American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; Amref Health Africa; American Public Health Association; Asian Development Bank; Association of Public Health Laboratories; Association of Southeast Asian Nations; Becton, Dickinson and Company; Biotechnology Innovation Organization; Boston Consulting Group; CARE; Caribbean Public Health Agency; The Carter Center; CDC Foundation; Center for Supporting Community; Core Group; Development Initiatives; Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations; The Clinton Foundation; Clinton Health Access Initiative; CORE Group; COVID Collaborative; Danaher Corporation; Deloitte; Emory University; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Friends of the Global Fight; The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Ginkgo Bioworks; Global Citizen; Global Communities; The Global Fund; Global Poverty Project; Global Health Council; Global Health Technologies Coalition; Health GAP; Hologic, Inc.; International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations; International Monetary Fund; InterAction; International Air Transport Association; International Atomic Energy Agency; International Civil Aviation Organization; International Committee of the Red Cross; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; International Maritime Organization ; International Organization for Migration; International Vaccine Institute; IntraHealth International; Johnson & Johnson; Jubilee; LEGO Foundation; JustActions; LumiraDx; Marked by COVID; Mastercard Foundation; Matahari Global Solutions; Mayo Clinic Laboratories; McKinsey & Company; Merck Group; MilliporeSigma; National Nurses Association of Kenya; NETWORK for Catholic Social Justice; Nuclear Threat Initiative; ONE Campaign; One Earth Future Foundation; Open Society Foundations; OraSure Technologies; Oxfam America; Pan American Health Organization; Pandefense Advisory; Pandemic Action Network; PATH; PerkinElmer; Pfizer Inc.; Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; Public Citizen; Public Health Foundation of India; QIAGEN; Roche; The Rockefeller Foundation; Sabin Vaccine Institute; SalivaDirect at the Yale School of Public Health; Save the Children; Schmidt Futures; Seed Global Health; The Skoll Foundation; Sustainable Energy for All; Thermo Fisher Scientific; United States Chamber of Commerce; United Nations Foundation; Unitaid; United Nations Children’s Fund; United Nations Environment Programme; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; United Parcel Service; The United States Global Leadership Coalition ; World Health Organization; Women in Global Health; World Bank Group; World Food Programme; WOTE Kenya; World Trade Organization

Source: The White House

The Week In Russia: A Dangerous Game Changer

Amid mounting oppression, the Kremlin walks away with an election — and heads toward the next one with a new tool that critics contend is being used to fix voting results in its favor. Meanwhile, analysts warn, the problems that have fueled disaffection and prompted protests are going unaddressed as the state resorts to force to maintain control, leaving the future uncertain.

Here are some of the key developments in Russia over the past week and some of the takeaways going forward.

The Backdrop

It was a new twist on a tired, old standby: The authoritarian leader of a former Soviet republic casting his ballot in a contest that is certain to go his way, as shutters click and cameras roll for the benefit of election-day newscasts on state TV.

But when Russian President Vladimir Putin walked around his desk and tapped briefly at a keyboard, then looked at a screen saying: “Your vote has been recorded,” it heralded the advent of a relatively new and potentially powerful instrument in the Kremlin’s election-control toolkit: online voting.

Introduced in Moscow and six other regions in the September 17-19 elections, online voting may have been instrumental, indeed, in delivering Putin’s desired result: the preservation of the Kremlin-controlled United Russia party’s two-thirds majority in the Duma, the country’s lower house of parliament.

The “supermajority” is seen as crucial for the Kremlin as 2024 approaches — and with it the question of whether Putin will seek another six-year term, after handing himself that option by securing constitutional amendments in 2020, a process that included staging a nationwide vote amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

If he decides not to stay president, he may seek to retain power through some other post — even as the head of a union with Belarus, if he can manage to rope Russia’s smaller neighbor even tighter into Russia’s embrace.

Whatever he does, though, he presumably sees a Duma under firm Kremlin control, and one in which United Russia can approve further constitutional changes without the help of other parties, as an important safeguard.

‘A Phenomenal Sham’

The Kremlin’s need to keep the Duma on a short leash and provide Putin as many options as possible in 2024 is acute because its ability to rely on his popularity at every turn is not quite what it once was, having faded following a surge sparked by Russia’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and declined further after a highly unpopular retirement-age hike in 2018.

If online voting helped secure a supermajority for United Russia despite its own popularity problems, which polls show are far more dire than Putin’s, it came at a potentially high cost in terms of credibility.

Ahead of the three-day elections, Kremlin opponents and others warned that online voting was opaque, a fresh opportunity for fraud. After the balloting, Cole Harvey, a U.S. political scientist who studies election manipulation, said that e-voting in Russia was “deeply untransparent” and “a game changer.”

Electronic voting is “an absolute evil, a black box” whose contents cannot be verified, Sergei Shpilkin, a researcher who contends that millions of votes for United Russia were falsified, wrote in a September 21 Facebook post detailing his conclusions.

If e-voting is used nationwide in the 2024 presidential election, “monitoring the sanctity of the vote will not even be theoretically possible,” wrote Stanislav Andreichuk, a leader of Golos, an independent vote-monitoring group that has documented allegations and evidence of electoral fraud in numerous Russian elections.

When several Moscow races flipped abruptly in favor of United Russia when the delayed results from e-voting in the capital, the candidates suddenly on the losing side cried foul, as did many Muscovites. Anton Barbashin, editorial director at the Russia-focused media outlet Riddle, said the vote count in the capital was “a phenomenal sham,” and Harvey wrote that it would be “hard to overstate how unusual this degree of fraud is for Moscow.”

‘They Have The Scoreboard’

Imprisoned opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, whose Smart Voting initiative was thwarted in Moscow once the state’s count of the online votes came in, hailed the strategy as a “huge success” but used a sports metaphor to suggest that victory was stolen by the state through fraud, including in the count of ballots cast online.

In a statement on his Instagram account, which is run by associates, he said that “we have united, focused, and, with the help of [Smart Voting], simply smashed our opponents in the match. But they have the scoreboard. And they drew themselves a victory again.”

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Navalny App Disappearance Shows Russia’s Strength In The Battle Against Big Tech

Still, only a few hundred people came to Moscow’s Pushkin Square on September 20 to decry the sudden U-turn in the vote count in the capital, and major protests appear unlikely in the short term for various reasons.

The Communists posted substantial gains in the elections, even according to the official results, but analysts say they are conflicted and, in many cases, too comfortable in their role as part of the “systemic opposition” to mount a real challenge to the Kremlin.

The opposition forces that are outside that system and were kept out of the election, meanwhile — weakened by a massive clampdown that focused on supporters of Navalny but ranged far beyond his camp, targeting independent voices in civil society, the media, and everyday life — may struggle to regain momentum.

If the State Duma elections were a “key test of the Kremlin’s capacity to unlevel the electoral playing field and get away with it” — as Ben Noble and Nikolai Petrov put it in an article published by British-based think tank Chatham House, where both are fellows in the Russia and Eurasia program — the Kremlin seems to have passed.

Beyond the practical advantages of holding more than 300 of the Duma’s 450 seats, Noble and Petrov wrote, the “symbolism is no less important because retaining a thumping majority helps sustain the narrative of Kremlin dominance which is important regarding different audiences.”

v In a Twitter thread on September 20, New York-based political analyst Andras Toth-Czifra wrote that “the election might be over, but unlike in democracies where elections resolve legitimacy issues, in autocracies they often create [or] escalate them.”

“The issues defining the campaign are still there and it’s questionable if the authorities are able [or] willing to deal [with] them,” he wrote.

“These elections seem more like a halftime than the end of a match, and Russia’s longer-term future remains obscure to all the players as well as the spectators,” Andrew Wood, the British ambassador to Moscow in 1995-2000 and now an associate fellow at Chatham House, wrote in a September 17 comment.

“The extent and intensity of the repressive and dishonest measures used by the authorities against any Russians thought liable to be critical or even liable to differ tells the story of those in power living in fear of what might happen if they lost control,” Wood wrote.

That fear is more likely to lead to further repression than to reform, observers say. According to Wood, Putin “appears to have no fresh political, social, or economic programs in mind which might effectively refurbish his former standing with Russia’s people.”

The longer the concerns shared by millions of citizens “are allowed to fester,” he warned, “the deeper the risk of what could become a conviction that the division in Russia between the present regime and a considerable part of the country can only be resolved by the rejection of those now ruling it.”

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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