The health ministers of the G20 group of the world’s leading economies are meeting in Rome on Sunday to discuss the next steps in the global effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Hosted by Italy, the two-day G20 meeting will focus on the ongoing battle against Covid-19 and strategies for coping with future pandemics.
Ministers will also discuss ways to improve how scientific knowledge is shared and make vaccine access fairer.
The goal is “a strong message of cooperation, solidarity and justice, in the firm belief that nobody should be left behind,” said the meeting’s organisers in Italy.
This is one of the last G20 ministerial meetings before the G20 leaders meet at the end of October in Rome.
Ahead of the main meetings, Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza brought up the spectre of reinstating restrictions should sluggish vaccination campaigns not pick up steam again.
In response to the virus, which still very much exists, “either we reinvigorate the vaccination campaign, or we are forced to imagine that at a certain point, measures of the past will become necessary,” Speranza was cited by the Corriere della Sera newspaper as saying.
Speranza added that Italy aims to sign a “pact of Rome” to vaccinate everyone around the world.
In the lead-up to the meeting, Speranza had hosted experts for talks on mental health. “There is no health and well-being without complete mental health,” he said. “In the difficult months of the pandemic, this has become even more important.”