Being better prepared is a real challenge for everyone. 

‘One Health’ is a very welcome priority for the G20, as it has been an EU priority for a number of years now.

COVID-19 has of course only brought the issue into sharper focus.

We clearly need to step up our understanding of environmental conditions, but also surveillance, detection and collective action on the human-animal health interface.

Moving forward, it is important that the existing initiatives and groups work closely together and develop a coherent and comprehensive system which is sustainable over the long-term. With the necessary allocation of resources.

The EU has put in place a set of measures and coordinated actions to alleviate the impact on our societies, economies and environment:

With the creation of a strong European Health Union, we call for an EU preparedness plan, in addition to national plans, which will ensure that we are better equipped to deal with future crises.

With the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority HERA, we will provide an agile, robust and sustainable health security structure for the EU, which will be addressing the vulnerabilities that COVID-19 revealed and focus on the development, manufacturing, procurement and equitable distribution of medical countermeasures.

While countries continue their various national efforts there are three areas stand out for driving forward pandemic preparedness in the G20:

(1) sharing of information, particularly faster detection and early warning,

(2) strengthening research and

(3) ensuring the flow of goods in global supply chains.

Starting with something concrete - such as One Health surveillance for emerging diseases - we can transform One Health from a concept to reality.

Anti-microbial Resistance, the silent pandemic, is an ever-present threat. I want to work with you to advocate for a stronger global agreement on the use of and access to antimicrobials. In fact, we see a clear need for a revision and reinforcement of the WHO’s AMR Global Action Plan and to widen its scope in a One Health approach.

We will work to further reduce the sales of antimicrobials in the animal sector by 2030.

Together, we can do a great deal more.

As I said yesterday, we strongly support a new international agreement on pandemic preparedness and response - in our view provisions on anti-microbial resistance should be included in such a new instrument.

Here again I seek your support, as we can only make progress together when we join forces.

The G20 acting together can make a difference.