G20 communique reaction: “Talk is cheap” on global COVID-19 response

G20 communique reaction: “Talk is cheap” on global COVID-19 response”

Release date: 16 November 2022

A response from Lanz Espacio, Coordinator of the People’s Vaccine Alliance Asia, a coalition of more than 60 civil society organizations campaigning for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.

On language in the communique on access to medicines

“The communique has some promising language on global access to vaccines and medicines, but talk is cheap. G20 leaders have committed to equitable access, sharing technology, and recognizing immunization as a global public good. But they have not specified that vaccines and medicines should be available and affordable to everyone, everywhere at the same time. 

“Right now, G20 members including the EU, UK, Canada, and Japan are frustrating efforts at the World Trade Organization to ease the production of generic COVID-19 treatments. Warm words on access to medicines will ring hollow unless G20 leaders actually address the intellectual property barriers that prevent developing countries from manufacturing vaccines and treatments for themselves.”

On language in the communique on global manufacturing of pharmaceuticals

“G20 leaders say they are in favor of sharing pharmaceutical technologies, but that will not happen unless they stand up to global pharmaceutical giants. Big Pharma has refused to share vaccine technology, knowhow, and intellectual property throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Relying on the goodwill of pandemic profiteers simply won’t work.”

On the establishment of a Pandemic Fund

“There is a huge financing gap in pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. Unless this is addressed, world leaders risk sleepwalking into another global health disaster. The establishment of a Pandemic Fund that includes developing countries and civil society in its governance is a crucial first step toward inclusive pandemic preparedness and response. 

“The voices of developing countries and civil society are often ignored in international institutions. The Pandemic Fund must be different. The global south has fought hard for a seat at the table and our voices must be heard.”



Notes to editors

Spokespeople are available for comment and interview.

Media contacts

Jared Enriquez, Regional Communications Coordinator, People’s Vaccine Alliance-Asia

Email: [email protected]

Location/Time Zone: Philippines


Joe Karp-Sawey, Senior Media Advisor, People’s Vaccine Alliance

Email: [email protected]

Location/Time Zone: UK