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For Macron, global access to anticovid vaccine will be a test for a new multilateralism (interview)

For French President Emmanuel Macron, global access to the vaccine against covid-19 will be a “good test” for a “new multilateralism”, but he fears that some countries will favor “vaccine diplomacy”, he says in an interview to Grand Continent magazine this Monday.

“The idea of ​​a global public good, of having global access to the vaccine, means that none of the laboratories that develop the vaccine will block access to other production laboratories (…), for developing countries”, warns.

The UN, supported mainly by Europe, has launched the ACT Accelerator (Act-A), a mechanism that aims to facilitate access to all vaccines and treatments, and which has the Covax device for the purchase and distribution of vaccines.

But this program, recently promoted at the Paris Forum for Peace, needs $ 28 billion.

“I do not know if we are going to win this battle”, warns Macron, a few days after the encouraging trials of a vaccine conceived by the German laboratories BioNTech and the American Pfizer.

“Because very clearly, I’m not sure that all countries want to commit to it. We will see if China is willing, if it is she who discovers the vaccine, if Russia is ready, if the United States is ready with the new administration – It is not safe with the previous one, in short, the current one, and we will see what companies do, “he warned.

Emmanuel Macron sees in Act-A the example of a new form of multilateralism, which in addition to States also integrates international organizations, regional powers, sectoral funds, private foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, industrial actors and public laboratories.

Governance has been entrusted to the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that it is not “the private who decides the rules for everyone,” says the French president.

“You will see, we are going to have many controversies on this matter. First, because there will be a diplomacy of the vaccine, that is, that each one will want to raise their flag saying ‘I am the one who has found it’. So there will be an effect of precipitation under the pressure of public opinion to say, ‘we have the good vaccine’. We will have to be very vigilant with this, “he continues, demanding the guarantee of respect for scientific rules.

“It is our state scientists who can say it and those of the WHO because they have no conflicts of interest,” he says in a long interview edited by the Group for Geopolitical Studies, an independent association domiciled at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de France.

leb-jri / reb / ​​lpt / af / dga