ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said:
“It’s immensely disappointing to see the world’s richest economies yet again taking nothing more than baby steps to tackle the chronic shortage of vaccines in emerging markets.
“The EU’s commitment to fund the development of manufacturing capacity for vaccines and medical equipment in least developed countries is certainly very welcome — but it’s not a solution to immediate crisis of rapidly escalating infection rates in many parts of the developing world.
“It’s hard to take anything from the Summit that will offer any degree of solace to local business communities yet again suffering the toll of fresh waves of infection and related containment measures.
“Global business will now look to G7 leaders next month to fill the gaps left by today’s Rome Declaration. There’s unfinished business to be concluded on at least three fronts.
“First, full transparency on how advanced economies plan to use their excess stocks of vaccines from Q3 of this year onwards. What percentage of these will go to countries in need and when?
“Second, a cast iron commitment to lift export restrictions on the supply of vaccines to third countries — an issue today’s declaration was conveniently silent on. Such a move should be entirely consistent with the Biden Administration’s domestic agenda: keeping spare doses in warehouses across the U.S. will only further stoke inflationary pressures as overseas supply chains continue to face severe disruption.
“And finally, we need to see dollars put on the table to get the WHO’s ACT-Accelerator fully funded — together with a comprehensive financing plan to enable vaccine access through 2022 and strengthen production networks for essential components.
“Anything less than this from the G7 will be yet another missed opportunity to take the actions that the business community knows are needed to finally lift the grip of the pandemic on lives and livelihoods across the world.”