Video message by Her Excellency Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, at the UN General Assembly Special Session on COVID-19, December 3

03.12.2020 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

Mr President,



The coronavirus pandemic is an extraordinary trial for humankind. It places a great burden on the healthcare systems of all countries. It has claimed and continues to claim many lives around the world. And it is exacerbating poverty and hunger, economic and social inequality.

It is patently clear that this global and multi-faceted crisis can only be surmounted by global action. I therefore welcome this Special Session of the UN General Assembly.

The pandemic also underscores the importance of the World Health Organization, an institution that needs to be strengthened.  It must be put in an even better position to respond to international health threats. This is what Germany has been campaigning for during its Presidency of the EU Council as well as in the G7 and G20.

But in spite of all the difficulties experienced this year in the course of the pandemic, there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is in large part due to the ACT Accelerator. Thanks to this collaboration, there is a global platform for the development and distribution of tests, treatments and vaccines at our disposal. However, this platform needs additional financial support in order to have a greater effect.

The investment is worthwhile. This is becoming particularly clear if we look at one of the pillars of the ACT Accelerator: vaccine development. Progress has recently been made on this front, which gives us reason to hope.

However, we must never forget that the pandemic can only be truly beaten – i.e. lastingly defeated – when everyone in the world has equitable access to effective vaccines.

Lastingly defeated – that also means doing everything we can to emerge stronger from this pandemic with regard to future challenges and crises. To this end, we need closer international cooperation, also and above all with strong international organizations. But if we manage this, we can succeed!

Thank you for your attention.

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