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Antigua & Barbuda PM to participate in U.S. president’s global COVID-19 summit


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Antigua & Barbuda PM to participate in U.S. president’s global COVID-19 summit
Antigua & Barbuda prime minister, Gaston Browne. (GP) - FP

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ST JOHN’S – Antigua & Barbuda prime minister Gaston Browne will late Wednesday highlight Caribbean Community (CARICOM) efforts aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic when he participates in the global COVID-19 summit hosted by United States president Joe Biden.

A government statement said Browne, who is also the CARICOM chairman, will participate in the summit that is being held under the theme, “Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better to Prepare for the Next”.

Browne will deliver a presentation focussing CARICOM’s commitment to work for better global planning and preparation for future pandemics.

He is expected to highlight the work of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in tackling COVID-19 across the region, the statement said.

The high-level summit will also feature presentations from Biden, United Nations secretary general António Guterres, World Health Organization director general Dr Tedros Adhanom-Ghebreyesus, South Africa president Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, British prime minister Boris Johnson, World Trade Organisation director general Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Canada prime minister Justin Trudeau.

According to the statement, the meeting is about “expanding and enhancing shared efforts to defeat COVID-19, building out from previous gatherings of world leaders and ministers in fora like the G7, G20, and Act Accelerator to rally civil society, NGOs, philanthropists, and industry along with world leaders and align on a common vision for defeating COVID-19 together”.

“Prime Minister Browne said that he anticipates that the outcomes of the meeting will lead to vaccinating the world by enhancing equitable access to vaccines and getting shots in arms and saving ‘Lives Now’ by solving the oxygen crisis, and making tests, therapeutics and PPE more available,” the statement said

“He noted that it is hoped that the ‘Build Back Better’ campaign will receive an additional boost by the establishment of a sustainable health security financing mechanism and global leadership for emerging threats.”

Earlier this week, Browne participated in a roundtable session organised by Johnson and Guterres.

The Antigua & Barbuda prime minister also hosted the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, the statement said.

A White House statement said Biden met Monday evening with Guterres, discussing the urgency to work together, along with member states of the United Nations to end the COVID-19 pandemic, prepare for future health security threats, combat climate change, strengthen food systems and food security, address humanitarian needs, prevent and mitigate conflict, and promote and defend human rights worldwide.

“The president reaffirmed that complex, global challenges can only be addressed by genuinely global solutions, an approach reflected in the president’s vision of ‘Building Back Better’, and he emphasised the unique role of the United Nations in delivering prosperity, peace and security for everyone,” the statement said.

(CMC)