Media Update-2: United Nations Pakistan, 26 February 2021
This Media Update includes:
UNAIDS - PRESS RELEASE : UNAIDS welcomes the United Nations General Assembly decision to hold a high-level meeting on HIV and AIDS in 2021
UNICEF - PRESS RELEASE : UNICEF signs COVID-19 vaccine supply agreement with AstraZeneca
UNAIDS welcomes the United Nations General Assembly decision to hold a high-level meeting on HIV and AIDS in 2021
GENEVA, 25 February 2021—UNAIDS welcomes the United Nations General Assembly decision for a high-level meeting on HIV and AIDS to take place between 8 and 10 June 2021. The high-level meeting will review the progress made in reducing the impact of HIV since the last United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on HIV and AIDS in 2016 and the General Assembly expects to adopt a new political declaration to guide the future direction of the response. The high-level meeting will take place as the world marks 40 years since the first case of AIDS was reported and 25 years of UNAIDS.
“World leaders must seize the opportunity offered by this new United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on HIV and AIDS to maintain their focus and commitment on ending AIDS as a public health threat as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS Executive Director. “The AIDS epidemic is unfinished business and must be ended for everyone everywhere, including for young women and adolescent girls and for other groups of people disproportionately affected by HIV. The right to health belongs to all of us.”
Progress towards ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals has been highly uneven and the global goals for 2020 adopted in the 2016 United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS were not met. Stigma and discrimination, the marginalization and criminalization of entire communities and a lack of access to health, education and other essential services continue to fuel the epidemic. Women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa and key populations (gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people, people who inject drugs and people in prison) and their partners globally continue to be disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic.
UNAIDS is currently developing a new global AIDS strategy for 2021–2026 through a process that is inclusive of all stakeholders in the AIDS response. The final draft strategy will be considered for adoption by the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board in March 2021. The new global AIDS strategy will include new targets to ensure that no one is left behind in ending AIDS, wherever they live and whoever they are. By achieving these targets, the number of people newly infected with HIV would fall to 370 000 by 2025, and the number of people dying from AIDS-related illnesses would be reduced to 250 000 in 2025.
Even the gains already made against HIV are threatened by the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The high-level meeting creates an opportunity to ensure that the world bolsters the resiliency of the HIV response to date, commits to rapid recovery post-COVID-19 and applies the lessons learned from the colliding epidemics of HIV and COVID-19 to create more resilient societies and health systems that are ready to meet future health challenges.
“The AIDS response has taught us that global solidarity is critical to making sustained progress against the impact of health threats like COVID-19,” said Ms Byanyima. “There must be concerted international efforts to reduce inequalities between countries and within them to strengthen the world’s capacity to absorb and defeat future global health challenges that put lives and livelihoods at risk everywhere.”
UNAIDS expresses its appreciation for the hard work of the high-level meeting co-facilitators, the permanent missions to the United Nations of Australia and Namibia, in the adoption of the resolution as well as to the President of the General Assembly for leading the process.
Given the constraints imposed by measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, it has not yet been decided if the high-level meeting will be in-person, virtual or a hybrid of the two. In line with the resolution, UNAIDS encourages the highest level of participation of United Nations Member States and the inclusion of civil society organizations and people living with or at risk of HIV in delegations to the high-level meeting. UNAIDS also looks forward to the multistakeholder hearing as a key opportunity to hear the voices of people living with, at risk of and affected by HIV, including key populations.
UNAIDS The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.UNAIDS
tel. +41 79 500 2119
UNICEF signs COVID-19 vaccine supply agreement with AstraZeneca
COPENHAGEN/NEW YORK, 26 February 2021 – UNICEF and AstraZeneca this week signed a long-term agreement for the supply of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca on behalf of the COVAX Facility.
Through the supply agreement, UNICEF, along with procurement partners including the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), will have access to up to 170 million doses of vaccines for around 85 countries. This is the third such agreement for COVID-19 vaccines, following previously announced agreements with Pfizer and the Serum Institute of India.
The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine received WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) on 15 February.
Deliveries of the vaccine are planned to begin in the first quarter of 2021, in line with the COVAX Allocation Framework that take into consideration several factors including country readiness, national regulatory authorizations and completed contractual provisions, as well as operating and supply considerations.
The goal of the COVAX Facility is to ensure that safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines are rapidly available and affordable to all countries around the world, regardless of income level.
The supply agreement will enable access to 170 million doses secured under the COVAX Facility’s Advance Purchase Agreement (APA) with AstraZeneca, which will be available throughout 2021.
On 11 February, UNICEF announced the signing of an agreement with Pfizer for the supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine through 2021, following on from an agreement with the Serum Institute of India to access two vaccines through technology transfer from AstraZeneca which has been granted WHO EUL and Novavax, which is subject to the approval of the vaccine by WHO.
The COVAX Facility, co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO, together with UNICEF, aims to provide at least 2 billion doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021, enabling the protection of frontline health care and social workers, as well as other high-risk and vulnerable groups.
Notes for editors:
Sharing pricing information is a reflection to UNICEF’s commitment to transparency, which the organization has been demonstrating for the past ten years by publishing all negotiated prices for a range of commodities. As these supply agreements are concluded, UNICEF will continue to make public relevant details of the agreements, subject to the consent of the suppliers.
About UNICEF UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org
For more information about COVID-19, visit www.unicef.org/coronavirus. Find out more about UNICEF’s work on the COVID-19 vaccines here, or about UNICEF’s work on immunization here. Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook.
About the COVAX Facility COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO. Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world. www.who.int/initiatives/act-accelerator/covax
For more information please contact:
Anne Sophie Bonefeld, UNICEF Copenhagen, +45 24 69 46 76, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabrina Sidhu, UNICEF New York, +1 917 4761537, email@example.com
Joe English, UNICEF New York, +1 917 893 0692 firstname.lastname@example.org