The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 12 September 2020 :: Number 333

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

PDFThe Sentinel_ period ending 12 Sep 2020

Contents
:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles

Joint Statement on Myanmar

Myanmar – Rohingya

Joint Statement on Myanmar
Joint statement by the UK, Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Tunisia, and the United States after Security Council consultations on Myanmar
Updated: 11 September 2020

[1] Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Tunisia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America welcome the briefings on the situation in Myanmar provided by UN Special Envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, and Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Director of the UN Development Programme Kanni Wignaraja today.

[2] As committed supporters of Myanmar’s democratic transition, we recognise the efforts made by Myanmar’s government in the country’s democratisation. The elections on 8 November are an important milestone in Myanmar’s transition, which the international community has supported with funding and technical expertise. We underline the importance of ensuring individuals of all communities, including Rohingya, are able to participate safely, fully, and equally in credible and inclusive elections.

[3] In this regard, we are concerned by the continued clashes between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army in Rakhine and Chin States and by the heavy toll this continues to take on local communities. Recalling the UN Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire as supported by Security Council Resolution 2532, we call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a halt to all activities that risk fuelling or escalating the situation. We also call for safe, full, and unhindered humanitarian access to all vulnerable populations and the full restoration of internet access in the affected areas.

[4] These steps are even more urgent in light of the increased number of Covid-19 cases in Rakhine State. We reiterate our support to Myanmar in combating the global pandemic and support the positive steps taken so far, including Myanmar’s public awareness campaign, the Covid-19 Economic Relief Plan, and the joint commission to coordinate the efforts of the government and ethnic armed organisations.

[5] On the situation in Rakhine more broadly, it is now more than three years since over 700,000 Rohingya refugees were forcibly displaced from their homes to Bangladesh because of violence perpetrated by the Myanmar military. In line with Security Council Presidential Statement 2017/22, we call on Myanmar to accelerate its efforts to address the long-term causes of the crisis in Rakhine and create conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary, sustainable, and dignified return of refugees.

[6] In particular, we encourage Myanmar to set out a transparent and credible plan to implement the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission and the Independent Commission of Enquiry. Furthermore, we recall that Myanmar is under the obligation to comply with the provisional measures order of the International Court of Justice. We also encourage Myanmar to take immediate confidence-building steps that include lifting restrictions on access to health, education and basic services, lifting restrictions on freedom of movement, and implementing the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp closure strategy in Rakhine in line with international standards. Moreover, we encourage Myanmar to intensify its bilateral dialogue with Bangladesh to agree a durable solution that enables the safe, voluntary, sustainable, and dignified return of refugees. We stand ready to support Myanmar in these efforts and commend the work of the United Nations system, ASEAN and its Ad Hoc Support Team and other regional partners in doing so too.

[7] We underscore that accountability is an essential part of addressing the long-term challenges in Myanmar and in creating conditions for the return of refugees and IDPs. We stress the importance of fighting impunity and holding accountable all those responsible for violations of international law and abuses, and call on Myanmar to cooperate with all international justice mechanisms, including the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar.

[8] Finally, we reiterate our appreciation and support to the government and people of Bangladesh for continuing to provide protection and assistance to the refugees forcibly displaced from Myanmar. We call on the international community to increase its support, including through the UN Joint Humanitarian Response Plan. We also urge all states in the region to cooperate and provide protection and assistance to refugees in line with international obligations, including as applicable international refugee law and the principle of non-refoulement.

The Trust Fund for Victims: US Sanctions Could Deprive Victims of Reparative Justice [International Criminal Court (ICC)]

ICC Sanctions by U.S.

The Trust Fund for Victims: US Sanctions Could Deprive Victims of Reparative Justice
International Criminal Court (ICC)
Press Release 8 September 2020
The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) deplores the recent United States sanctions imposed on two ICC officials, which may thwart the rights of victims to receive justice and reparations for the harm they suffered.

Reparative justice for victims of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community is dependent on the ability of the ICC to hold perpetrators of these crimes accountable.

The TFV Board of Directors stands in solidarity with the ICC and reminds all States and everyone that unimaginable atrocities continue to shake the conscience of humanity. Now more than ever before, unqualified moral, political and financial support is needed towards the universal achievement of the goals of Rome Statute. This must include reparative justice for the benefit of victims, their families and their communities.

[Visit the website at: www.trustfundforvictims.org ]
The International Criminal Court (ICC) investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.  The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) is the first of its kind in the global movement to end impunity for the gravest of crimes and alleviate suffering. The establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 1 July 2002 resulted in the creation of the TFV under article 79 of the Rome Statute.  The role of the TFV is to ensure victims’ rights to reparations and assistance are realised in the international criminal justice system.

Global collaboration for health: rhetoric versus reality [Lancet Editorial]

Featured Journal Content

The Lancet
Sep 12, 2020 Volume 396 Number 10253 p735-798, e25-e29
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current
Editorial
Global collaboration for health: rhetoric versus reality
The Lancet
The 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) opens on Sept 15, 2020. Being held remotely for the first time, the meeting will inevitably be dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but other issues on the agenda that have resonance for global health include the climate crisis, peace, disarmament, and humanitarian assistance. Underpinning this year’s agenda is the UN theme of multilateralism, under the banner ”The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism”. Yet the meeting comes at a time when global collaboration and cooperation are in disarray.

The UNGA is traditionally built on bold rhetoric of global collaboration and exhaustive debate over some of the world’s most intractable problems. But rather than expressing a shared vision for a common future, countries are now undermining global cooperation through rising nationalism, open hostility towards multilateral institutions, and a growing tendency to look after their own interests—eg, rushing to secure supplies of potential COVID-19 vaccines. Health is precariously caught in the middle of these tensions. Science has become increasingly politicised, with multiple and conflicted interests at play, and often little sense of solidarity within or between nations.

An immediate casualty of these opposing forces is the global effort towards vaccines for COVID-19. COVAX, the COVID-19 Global Access Facility, is led by WHO; Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and aims to rapidly develop and equitably distribute effective vaccines. Variable commitment to COVAX reflects the tension between nationalism and collaboration. 170 countries plan to participate, but the USA, for one, is opting not to join COVAX. Instead, the USA has secured bilateral deals with several pharmaceutical companies for millions of doses of promising COVID-19 vaccines. Similar deals have been struck by Australia, the EU, and the UK. In July, Médecins Sans Frontières warned that “These bilateral deals will reduce the initial global vaccine stocks available for vulnerable groups in poorer countries and undermine global efforts to ensure fair allocation”.

Insufficient collaboration is also jeopardising the Pan American Health Organization, with many member states, including Brazil, Venezuela, and Mexico, withholding essential funding at a time when Latin America is under mounting pressure from COVID-19. Meanwhile, the USA continues its deeply disappointing withdrawal from WHO.

The climate emergency is another subject on which rhetoric has fallen flat in the face of nationalistic inaction. The global response to COVID-19 depends heavily on the idea of creating a better future for human and planetary health, and commitment to this approach is non-negotiable for sustainable recovery. It is disappointing that the UNGA’s formal general agenda does not more extensively cover climate change beyond the item “Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind”, although there is a Summit on Biodiversity on Sept 30, as well as activities across New York City.

Hopefully, the summit will also return the UNGA’s focus to the Sustainable Development Goals, which must still be met by 2030, and to defining a post-2020 biodiversity framework. An early indication that nations might work to protect health in the face of climate change as laid out in this year’s WHO manifesto for a healthy and green recovery from COVID-19 is seen in the commitment to the Resilient Recovery Platform. Launched in Japan on Sept 3, 2020, the platform is a global sharing of policy and actions to address the response to COVID-19 coupled with the response to the climate emergency, with stakeholders such as governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations, and civil society. The participation of 80 countries shows a willingness to engage in overhauling socioeconomic models towards a sustainable future. But will it be translated into action?

Global solidarity cannot be garnered through rhetoric alone. COVID-19 has brought into clear view that every person’s health is interconnected, and the UNGA is a platform with the power to reorientate global interests in such a way as to protect the health and lives of all people in every nation. The need for global cooperation has never been more visible or more crucial. Unfortunately, the UN has so far in 2020 not been able to transform rhetoric into reality. This should give pause for serious reflection. Global crises call for global responses, and we have yet to see them.

Weakest, Most Fragile States Will Be Those Worst Affected by COVID-19 in Medium, Long Term, Humanitarian Chief Tells Security Council

COVID-19 Impacts – Fragile States

Weakest, Most Fragile States Will Be Those Worst Affected by COVID-19 in Medium, Long Term, Humanitarian Chief Tells Security Council
9 September 2020 SC/14296
Top peacekeeping and humanitarian affairs officials warned the Security Council during a 9 September videoconference meeting* that wide-ranging implications of the COVID-19 pandemic could erode peace and push more conflict affected nations onto its agenda.

Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, briefing the Council on the implementation of resolution 2532 (2020) that called for a global ceasefire amid the pandemic, said the weakest, most fragile and conflict-affected countries will be those worst affected by COVID-19 in the medium and long term. “Woefully inadequate economic and political action will lead to greater instability and conflicts in the coming years; more crises will be on this Council’s agenda,” he said. “While we may have been surprised by the virus, we cannot say the same of the security and humanitarian crises that most certainly lay ahead if we don’t change course.”

With more than 26 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, he said “the virus is everywhere”. More than 860,000 people have died, roughly a third of these cases and fatalities in countries affected by humanitarian or refugee crises, or those facing high levels of vulnerability. Indirect effects of the crisis will be higher poverty, lower life expectancy, more starvation, less education and more child death. Likewise, given recent research findings, the risks of conflict, instability, insecurity, violence and population displacement are rising, he said, adding that “the agenda of this Council, which you may think is big enough already, is set to grow; that may be one of the main lasting effects of the pandemic.”

In addition, these indirect consequences “are dwarfing the impact of the virus itself”, he cautioned. Vaccination campaigns have been disrupted in 45 countries facing humanitarian or refugee crises or high levels of vulnerability from other causes, putting more than 80 million children under the age of one at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases. Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report that food insecurity is spiking, with 27 countries at risk. More than half a billion children in humanitarian crises and fragile contexts have been affected by school closures, many girls now unable to go to school will never go back and gender-based violence is increasing as services have been curtailed.

“There is little dispute about what ought to be done,” he said. While the Group of 20 and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations have adopted $10 trillion in domestic stimulus measures to protect their populations, low-income and fragile countries do not have the resources. They rely on support from elsewhere, but only 7 per cent of the $143 billion in financing from the international financial institutions has been committed to low income countries. This alarmingly low level of support increases the likelihood of the pandemic generating dangerous long-term consequences, he said, underlining the critical role international financial institutions can play. Indeed, recent experience has shown that costs to taxpayers are minimal because the resources can largely be generated off the international financial institutions’ own balance sheets.

Turning to the response of humanitarian agencies, he said the Secretary General’s launch in March of the United Nations coordinated Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19 now seeks $10 billion over the next six months to support 250 million people in 63 countries. Expressing appreciation at having raised around $2.4 billion since March, he outlined some ongoing efforts, including personal protective equipment for 730,000 health workers, information on the virus and protection instructions for more than 1 billion people in nearly 60 countries and distance learning for almost 100 million children. However, the Secretary-General’s repeated calls on Member States and others to facilitate the movement of humanitarian personnel and cargo have not been adequately heeded, violence against health workers is rising and aid workers are also vulnerable to the virus. The number of confirmed cases among United Nations staff alone runs into the thousands, and the death toll is mounting. Where possible, those who are most sick are evacuated to places where they can get good medical care, but, too often, that does not happen, he said, paying tribute to those taking extraordinary risks with their own welfare in the desire to help others…

COVID-19: UN poverty expert says social protection measures “full of holes”, urges global rethink

COVID-19 – Social Protection

Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights [to 12 Sep 2020]
https://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/poverty/pages/srextremepovertyindex.aspx
Latest News
COVID-19: UN poverty expert says social protection measures “full of holes”, urges global rethink
GENEVA (11 September 2020) – The UN’s independent expert on extreme poverty said in a report published today that while governments have adopted more than 1,400 social protection measures since the outbreak of COVID-19 they were largely insufficient, and warned the worst impacts on poverty were yet to come.

“The social safety nets put into place are full of holes,” said Olivier De Schutter, calling on world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York to strengthen measures to help the poor. “These current measures are generally short-term, the funding is insufficient, and many people will inevitably fall between the cracks.”

The economic downturn resulting from the pandemic is unprecedented in times of peace since the Great Depression, he said, adding another 176 million people could fall into poverty when using a poverty baseline of 3.20 USD/day. This is equivalent to an increase in the poverty rate of 2.3 percentage points compared to a no-COVID-19 scenario.

World Bank data covering 113 countries show that US$589bn have been pledged for social protection, representing about 0.4 percent of the world’s GDP. However, the expert’s report says those initiatives will fail to prevent people falling into poverty. Many of the poorest people are excluded from the social protection schemes that are meant to support them.

“Many schemes require forms to be completed online and exclude large groups of the population who have no internet access or who have only weak digital literacy,” De Schutter said.

“Some schemes impose conditions impossible to fulfil for people in precarious forms of employment or without a permanent address. Migrants, especially undocumented migrants, often are not covered. And although some schemes have been designed to cover workers in the informal sector and in precarious forms of employment, many do not.”

There are 1.6 billion informal workers and 0.4 billion precarious workers worldwide, representing 61 percent of the global workforce.

De Schutter said most of the programmes were now being phased out, or can only be renewed through parliamentary processes with uncertain outcomes. “Families in poverty have by now used up whatever reserves they had, and sold their assets,” he said. “The worst impacts of the crisis on poverty are still to come.”

Even where programs are still in place, the allowances often are grossly insufficient to guarantee a decent standard of living.

The independent expert called upon world leaders to seize the moment, by calling for the establishment of strong social protection floors guided by human rights principles, to make them more effective in eradicating poverty and in reducing inequalities.

Mr. Olivier De Schutter was appointed as the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights by the UN Human Rights Council on 1st May 2020.

Will the COVID-19 pandemic threaten the SDGs? [Lancet Public Health Editorial]

Featured Journal Content

Lancet Public Health
Sep 2020 Volume 5 Number 9 e460-e511
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/issue/current
Editorial
Will the COVID-19 pandemic threaten the SDGs?
The Lancet Public Health
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015, provide an international framework to move by 2030 toward more equitable, peaceful, resilient, and prosperous societies—while living within sustainable planetary boundaries. As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary and a third of the SDG timeline has passed, The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020—prepared by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with experts and international agencies— tells a story of tentative but insufficient progress, and warns of the regressive impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the report, COVID-19 threatens to reverse the progress of SDG 3, which aims to ensure healthy lives and wellbeing for all. During the crisis, 70 countries have halted childhood vaccination programmes, and in many places, health services for cancer screening, family planning, or non-COVID-19 infectious diseases have been interrupted or are being neglected. Health service disruptions could reverse decades of improvement, warns the report. Allowing people to slip through these service gaps could affect population health for years to come.

Even before COVID-19 the world was off track to end poverty by 2030 under SDG 1, with projections suggesting that 6% of the global population would still be living in extreme poverty in 2030. Now, an estimated 71 million additional people could be living in extreme poverty due to COVID-19. Although income inequality has been falling in some countries, a global economic recession in the wake of the pandemic could push millions back into poverty and exacerbate inequalities. The most susceptible groups are being hit hardest by the pandemic, threatening SDG 10. Similarly, the ambition under SDG 2 to end hunger was faltering before COVID-19—the population affected by food insecurity had risen between 2014 and 2018—but the COVID-19 crisis has added to pressure on production, supply chains, and household incomes, with the poorest being most affected. Access to water and sanitation (SDG 6) remains a major health issue. 2·2 billion people remain without safe drinking water and the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted lack of access to sanitation for billions.

Tackling global poverty and water and food scarcity is intrinsically linked to mitigating climate and land-use change. However, as the SDGs report shows, the world is off track to meet the goals toward environmental sustainability encompassed by SDGs 7–9 and 11–15. Most countries are not meeting their commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions. We are in danger of missing targets to improve urban environments by reducing the number of people living in slums, increasing access to public transport, and reducing air pollution. Aims towards sustainable and inclusive economic growth, energy provision, and infrastructure development had all been falling short before COVID-19 and face considerable setbacks in the shadow of an economic recession.

The aim of SDG 4—to achieve inclusive and equitable access to education—also looks likely to be missed, with a projection that more than 200 million children will still be out of education by 2030. Most of the world’s children have been deprived of formal education during the COVID-19 outbreak—a legacy that could threaten the SDGs’ underlying ambition to leave no one behind. The world has made progress on SDG 5’s gender equality goals, with fewer girls being forced into early marriage and more women entering leadership roles. However, women’s wellbeing has suffered during the COVID-19 outbreak, with incidences of domestic violence increasing by 30% in some countries and a greater demand on women for unpaid care work.

Finally, reaching the SDGs will be impossible without international cooperation. The political tensions stoked by COVID-19 and a trend toward hardening of national borders could threaten SDG 16 to promote peace and safety from violence and SDG 17 to strengthen international partnerships.

Achieving the transformative vision of the SDGs by 2030 requires a major realignment of most countries’ national priorities toward long-term, cooperative, and drastically accelerated action. For António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, “Everything we do during and after this crisis must be with a strong focus on building more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change, and the many other global challenges we face.” The intersecting challenges of health and sustainability might never have been clearer: an opportunity not to be missed.

COVID-19 Vaccines – Development Standards/Regulatory Review/Commitments

Featured Journal Content

COVID-19 Vaccines – Development Standards/Regulatory Review/Commitments

Press Release
Biopharma Leaders Unite to Stand with Science
Nine CEOs sign historic pledge to continue to make the safety and well-being of vaccinated individuals the top priority in development of the first COVID-19 vaccines

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Sep. 8, 2020 The CEOs of AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline plc), Johnson & Johnson, Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, Moderna, Inc., Novavax, Inc., Pfizer Inc., and Sanofi today announced a historic pledge, outlining a united commitment to uphold the integrity of the scientific process as they work towards potential global regulatory filings and approvals of the first COVID-19 vaccines. All nine CEOs signed the following pledge:

“We, the undersigned biopharmaceutical companies, want to make clear our on-going commitment to developing and testing potential vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles.

“The safety and efficacy of vaccines, including any potential vaccine for COVID-19, is reviewed and determined by expert regulatory agencies around the world, such as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA has established clear guidance for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and clear criteria for their potential authorization or approval in the US. FDA’s guidance and criteria are based on the scientific and medical principles necessary to clearly demonstrate the safety and efficacy of potential COVID-19 vaccines. More specifically, the agency requires that scientific evidence for regulatory approval must come from large, high quality clinical trials that are randomized and observer-blinded, with an expectation of appropriately designed studies with significant numbers of participants across diverse populations.

“ Following guidance from expert regulatory authorities such as FDA regarding the development of COVID-19 vaccines, consistent with existing standards and practices, and in the interest of public health, we pledge to:
:: Always make the safety and well-being of vaccinated individuals our top priority.
:: Continue to adhere to high scientific and ethical standards regarding the conduct of clinical trials and the rigor of manufacturing processes.
:: Only submit for approval or emergency use authorization after demonstrating safety and efficacy through a Phase 3 clinical study that is designed and conducted to meet requirements of expert regulatory authorities such as FDA.
:: Work to ensure a sufficient supply and range of vaccine options, including those suitable for global access.

“We believe this pledge will help ensure public confidence in the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be approved.”

Together, these nine companies have collectively developed more than 70 novel vaccines that have helped to eradicate some of the world’s most complex and deadly public health threats, underscoring their experience in clinical development and regulatory rigor, as well as their longstanding commitments to patient safety and public health.

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FDA Voices 09/11/2020
The FDA’s Scientific and Regulatory Oversight of Vaccines is Vital to Public Health
By: Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs and Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research
[Excerpt]
…The FDA’s career scientists and physicians are helping to facilitate the development and evaluation of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. These professionals have globally recognized expertise in the complexity of vaccine development and in evaluating the safety and effectiveness of vaccines intended to prevent infectious diseases. They are experts in clinical trial design and analysis and synthesizing and evaluating tremendous amounts of data to determine whether a vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective. These experts are responsible for assessing the adequacy of manufacturing and the facilities where vaccines are made, which are critical to producing high-quality vaccines, and for post-marketing safety surveillance, using a wide variety of surveillance systems and data mining to continually review safety after a vaccine is approved.

The FDA is often held up as the “gold standard” of regulatory agencies around the globe. What’s at the core of these standards are the agency’s regulatory independence and science-based decision-making.  As with all products we regulate, we will follow the science and data in our decision making regarding COVID-19 vaccines. It is because the FDA is a science-based agency that we say this with the clarity of conviction. The dedicated career public health professionals who will be involved in evaluating the data submitted to the FDA in requests for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and in Biologics License Applications (BLAs) for COVID-19 vaccines are committed to decision making based on science and data. They are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, grandparents and more – and they (and their families) are directly impacted by the work they do. They are exactly who you want making decisions regarding vaccine safety and effectiveness.

No time in recent memory has shone as bright a light on the work of FDA review staff as the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand that a lot of people may not have information about vaccine development or how the FDA determines whether or not to approve a vaccine – and may not have given it much thought – at least until now.

With so much at stake, we understand the importance of being as transparent as possible about the work we do, including how we will make decisions regarding COVID-19 vaccines. The publication of our guidance was an important step – we firmly believe that transparency regarding the FDA’s thinking about the scientific data needed to support approval of safe and effective vaccines will help build public confidence in the FDA’s evaluation process, which will be critical in ensuring the use of COVID-19 vaccines once available.

An upcoming key milestone is the meeting of our Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on October 22, at which the committee will discuss publicly the general development of COVID-19 vaccines. While this meeting is not intended to discuss any particular vaccine candidates, the agency is also prepared to rapidly schedule additional meetings of this Committee upon submission of any BLAs or requests for EUAs to further ensure transparency.

The FDA has been asked what regulatory path will be used to make COVID-19 vaccines available (i.e., will there be an EUA, or will the FDA approve a BLA?). The short answer is, taking into consideration input from the FDA, manufacturers decide whether and when to submit an EUA request or BLA to the FDA. The agency will review EUA requests and BLAs received and make appropriate determinations by looking at the totality of the available scientific evidence. For a vaccine for which there is adequate manufacturing information, issuance of an EUA may be appropriate once studies have demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, but before the manufacturer has submitted all of the various data elements normally required and/or the FDA has completed its formal review of the BLA.

As we have said, these decisions will be firmly rooted in science. We are committed to expediting the development of COVID-19 vaccines, but not at the expense of sound science and decision making. We will not jeopardize the public’s trust in our science-based, independent review of these or any vaccines. There’s too much at stake….

Coronavirus [COVID-19] – PHEIC

EMERGENCIES

Coronavirus [COVID-19]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Weekly Epidemiological and Operational updates
last update: 11 September 2020, 20:00 GMT-4
Confirmed cases :: 28 329 790 [week ago: 26 468 031]
Confirmed deaths :: 911 877 [week ago: 871 166]

Weekly Operational Update
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
9 September 2020

Weekly Epidemiological Update 
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
7 September 2020

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POLIO – Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 09 September 2020

Summary of new WPV and cVDPV viruses this week (AFP cases and environmental samples):
:: Afghanistan: Four WPV1 cases
:: Pakistan: Three WPV1 cases and 17 WPV1 positive environmental samples
:: Chad: three cVDPV2 cases
:: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo): 15 cVDPV2 cases
:: Sudan: eight cVDPV2 case

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Statement
Polio programme accelerates efforts to respond to new polio outbreaks in Sudan and Yemen
Joint statement by WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari and UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Region Ted Chaiban
AMMAN/CAIRO, 11 September 2020 – “The recent vaccine-derived polio outbreaks confirmed in Yemen and Sudan are consequences of increasingly low levels of immunity among children. Each outbreak has paralysed children in areas that have been extremely difficult if not impossible to reach with routine or supplementary polio vaccination for extended periods of time.

“These outbreaks do not come as a total surprise. In Sudan, extensive population movement by nomadic communities, people displaced by conflict, frequent movement between neighbouring countries and restricted access in some areas have made it enormously difficult to reach every child with vaccines. The cases in Yemen are clustered in the Sa’adah Governorate in the war-ravaged country’s north-west, an area that has very low routine immunization levels and has been inaccessible to the polio programme for more than two years. The last house-to-house campaigns in this area were in November 2018…

…The outbreaks in Sudan and Yemen are the first new polio outbreaks in the COVID-19 era in our region. WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region is also responding to circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus outbreaks in Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We know that when national authorities, communities and polio programme partners pull together, we can end outbreaks – just as we did in Syria in 2018. But if we cannot reach every child across these regions with life-saving vaccine, we fear that even more countries will see children tragically and permanently paralysed by a disease that can – and must – be stopped…

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Ebola – DRC+:: WHO/OCHA Emergencies

Emergencies

Ebola – DRC+
Last WHO Situation Report published 23 June 2020
Last WHO DON published 3 July 2020

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 12 Sep 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo – No new digest announcements identified
Mozambique floods – No new digest announcements identified
Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 12 Sep 2020]
Iraq
:: WHO Iraq frontline workers tackling COVID-19 with community sensitizations and engagements WHO Iraq frontline workers tackling COVID-19 with community sensitizations and engagements 9 September 2020

Niger
:: L’Afrique certifiée libre du poliovirus sauvage : un évènement historique suivi au N…
07 septembre 2020

Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Burkina Faso [in French] – No new digest announcements identified
Burundi – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
Iran floods 2019 – No new digest announcements identified
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
Malawi Floods – No new digest announcements identified
Measles in Europe – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Mozambique – No new digest announcements identified
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified
HIV in Pakistan – No new digest announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 12 Sep 2020]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – Page not responding at inquiry
Kenya – No new digest announcements identified
Mali – No new digest announcements identified
Namibia – viral hepatitis – No new digest announcements identified
Tanzania – No new digest announcements identified

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UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Syrian Arab Republic
:: Recent Developments in Northwest Syria – Situation Report No. 20 – As of 9 September 2020

Yemen
:: 09 September 2020 Yemen: COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Monthly Report (August 2020)

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UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
COVID-19
:: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 43: occupied Palestinian territory, issued 10 September 2020, information for period: 5 March – 10 September 2020

East Africa Locust Infestation
– No new digest announcements identified

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The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 5 September 2020 :: Number 332

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

PDFThe Sentinel_ period ending 5 Sep 2020

Contents
:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles

After Disruption: Historical Perspectives on the Future of International Order – CSIS Report

Global Governance

After Disruption: Historical Perspectives on the Future of International Order
CSIS Report
Seth Center, Emma Bates
September 2, 2020 :: 70 pages
Open Access PDF: https://csis-website-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/publication/200901_Bates_History_FullReport_v1.pdf

The Covid-19 pandemic has intensified the debate about whether world order is undergoing a fundamental change. Cornerstones of the post-1945 system—economic globalization, democratic governance, and U.S. leadership—face headwinds. At home, some Americans question whether international institutions and the order they underpin still serve the national interest.

In this critical moment, the Project on History and Strategy asked seven leading international historians to offer their insights about the relationship between disorder and order. How is order remade after pandemics, wars, and revolutions? How do different visions of order get resolved? Who contributes to the making of new orders? Can a faltering order be rehabilitated? Does “might” always make order, or can smaller actors shape the game? Does order emerge from ad hoc responses to specific problems, or can a master blueprint become reality? Collectively the historians produced insightful essays spanning four centuries of upheaval. They recapture the interplay of personality, power, and the forgotten contingency at the core of order-building efforts.

Looking to the future, the essays serve as a potent reminder that the appeal of democracy, free markets, and the broader international architecture designed to extend those ideas across the globe hinge on whether the American people, their government, and their allies prove worthy of emulation and capable of adaptation. If they fail, others will be waiting with the vision and programs to construct a new order in their own likeness.

This report is made possible by general support to CSIS.

Science :: Special Issue – Democracy in the Balance

Featured Journal Content – Democracy

Science
04 September 2020 Vol 369, Issue 6508
http://www.sciencemag.org/current.dtl
Special Issue – Democracy in the Balance
Introduction to special issue
In flux and under threat
By Tage Rai, Brad Wible
Science04 Sep 2020 : 1174-1175
Around the world, democracy is losing ground. Polarization and disinformation have rendered liberals and conservatives unable to agree on basic facts. State violence and suppression of citizens’ rights are resurgent. Free and fair elections are being threatened.

In this special issue, we critically examine the state of democracy and how it must adapt to achieve its ideals in the 21st century. We need to meet the challenges and opportunities of living in increasingly multiethnic societies, of fostering democracy in a weakened international environment, of reducing inequality and elevating the political representation of the poor, and of organizing social movements and combating disinformation tactics in the digital age. Advances in technology are making it easier to distort true voter representation through gerrymandering, and political campaigns continue to struggle with reaching voters and persuading them to participate. Worryingly, state violence, which has always been a core feature of the democratic experience for some, is spreading in democratic societies.

Twenty years ago, it seemed inevitable that democracy would reach every corner of the globe. In this moment, we are reminded that we must fight for democracy and work to improve it. A scientific understanding of the social and behavioral phenomena that underlie its operation will help us enhance democracy and, by doing so, improve human lives and societies globally.

Policy Forum
Racial authoritarianism in U.S. democracy
By Vesla M. Weaver, Gwen Prowse
Science04 Sep 2020 : 1176-1178
One segment of the population experiences different rules and differential citizenship.

Human-centered redistricting automation in the age of AI
By Wendy K. Tam Cho, Bruce E. Cain
Science04 Sep 2020 : 1179-1181
Human-machine collaboration and transparency are key

Perspective
Campaigns influence election outcomes less than you think
By David W. Nickerson, Todd Rogers
Science04 Sep 2020 : 1181-1182
Campaigns have small effects but are built to win close races

Reviews
Diversity and prosocial behavior
By Delia Baldassarri, Maria Abascal
Science04 Sep 2020 : 1183-1187
Abstract
Immigration and globalization have spurred interest in the effects of ethnic diversity in Western societies. Most scholars focus on whether diversity undermines trust, social capital, and collective goods provision. However, the type of prosociality that helps heterogeneous societies function is different from the in-group solidarity that glues homogeneous communities together. Social cohesion in multiethnic societies depends on whether prosocial behavior extends beyond close-knit networks and in-group boundaries. We identify two features of modern societies—social differentiation and economic interdependence—that can set the stage for constructive interactions with dissimilar others. Whether societal adaptations to diversity lead toward integration or division depends on the positions occupied by minorities and immigrants in the social structure and economic system, along with the institutional arrangements that determine their political inclusion.

Can democracy work for the poor?
By Rohini Pande
Science04 Sep 2020 : 1188-1192
Abstract
Millions of the world’s poorest people now live in middle-income democracies that, in theory, could use their resources to end extreme poverty. However, citizens in those countries have not succeeded in using the vote to ensure adequate progressive redistribution. Interventions aiming to provide the economically vulnerable with needed resources must go beyond assisting them directly, they must also improve democratic institutions so that vulnerable populations themselves can push their representatives to implement redistributive policies. Here, I review the literature on such interventions and then consider the “democracy catch-22”: How can the poor secure greater democratic influence when the existing democratic playing field is tilted against them?

Democracy’s backsliding in the international environment
By Susan D. Hyde
Science04 Sep 2020 : 1192-1196
Abstract
If the end of the 20th century was defined by the relatively widespread acceptance of democracy, the second decade of the 21st century is marked by concerns about backsliding in new and established democracies alike and by a notable decline in foreign support for democracy around the world. As democracy’s global tailwinds shift to headwinds, scholars have an opportunity to better understand how experience with even superficial forms of democratic institutions across a diverse set of contexts influences citizen behavior when formal democratic institutions erode or disappear. This shift also provides the opportunity to examine whether citizen movements alone—absent external support—are sufficient to check newly emboldened autocrats.

False equivalencies: Online activism from left to right
By Deen Freelon, Alice Marwick, Daniel Kreiss
Science04 Sep 2020 : 1197-1201
Abstract
Digital media are critical for contemporary activism—even low-effort “clicktivism” is politically consequential and contributes to offline participation. We argue that in the United States and throughout the industrialized West, left- and right-wing activists use digital and legacy media differently to achieve political goals. Although left-wing actors operate primarily through “hashtag activism” and offline protest, right-wing activists manipulate legacy media, migrate to alternative platforms, and work strategically with partisan media to spread their messages. Although scholarship suggests that the right has embraced strategic disinformation and conspiracy theories more than the left, more research is needed to reveal the magnitude and character of left-wing disinformation. Such ideological asymmetries between left- and right-wing activism hold critical implications for democratic practice, social media governance, and the interdisciplinary study of digital politics.

Heritage Stewardship: ArThemis, the open-access cultural property restitution database; First Release of Getty’s New Research Collections Viewer Offers Digital Access to Vast Archives

Heritage Stewardship

ArThemis, the open-access cultural property restitution database
UNESCO 01/09/2020
ArThemis is a fully searchable database containing case notes about disputes over the return and restitution of cultural property. The case notes focus on the settlement of disputes through alternative dispute resolution methods (ADR) but also examine judicial decisions. The case notes are accompanied by pertinent documents, including judgments, published agreements, pictures, etc.

With its wish to provide innovative methods and multiple solutions for the restitution of cultural property, UNESCO in association with the University of Geneva, makes the ArThemis database available to all. It contains cases resolved by judicial means or alternative dispute resolution methods, in addition to a wide range of research possibilities such as the type of object sought, the chronological context, or the issue as it pertains to law.

An open access-tool, ArThemis allows everyone involved, from legal practitioners to researchers and academics, to have a point of reference on all dispute resolution methods.

A valuable tool, ArThemis provides detailed cases resolved by judicial decision, which demonstrates judges’ awareness in matters of art law and the restitution of cultural property. These files also reveal the limits of judicial decisions and provide an overview of how courts resolve procedural and substantive issues. ArThemis also contains information relating to alternative methods that have enabled the return of goods.

ArThemis prefers a pragmatic approach taking into account the origin of cultural goods and the ethical, historical, cultural, financial and legal interests involved. It brings an innovative angle to the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural goods.

You can consult the ArThemis database here.
Another relevant database, UNESCO Database of National Cultural Laws, is also available here.

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First Release of Getty’s New Research Collections Viewer Offers Digital Access to Vast Archives
A new online tool invites you to browse thousands of photographs and artists’ letters, with more to come
Getty Conservation Institute Nathaniel Deines | September 2, 2020

Now online in its initial release, the Research Collections Viewer offers a visual way to browse and search Getty’s archival collections. The Viewer aims to make it easier to see what we have in our research collections—rare primary source material such as artists’ papers, prints, and photographs—as well as contextual information such as related works by the same artist.

At Getty we’ve been digitizing archives on a major scale since 1997 (see this guide to early photography of the Mediterranean for one of our first forays), yet digital images and finding aids have always existed in separate systems, connected only through a carefully managed set of links…\In addition to connecting the finding aids with the digitized materials, the Research Collections Viewer connects archival materials themselves together by leveraging Linked Open Data standards. Using the “Related Material” section, you can explore archives intuitively, investigating relationships between people, places, dates, and ideas.
For its initial launch, the Research Collections Viewer features access to information and many images from the correspondence of artist Sylvia Sleigh and critic Lawrence Alloway and from the Los Angeles photographs of artist Ed Ruscha. We chose these archives because they presented unique challenges that will inform how we present other large and complex collections going forward.

Back to school in humanitarian settings finds $135 million funding gap and increased digital divide – IRC

COVID-19 Impacts – Education in Humanitarian Contexts

Back to school in humanitarian settings finds $135 million funding gap and increased digital divide – IRC
August 31, 2020
:: New analysis from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) finds widening education and digital access gaps among children in humanitarian settings stemming from COVID-19.
:: Education remains one of the least-funded sectors in humanitarian response, with a current COVID-19 funding gap of $135 million.
:: School closures are impacting refugee girls harder than boys, with more than half not expected to return.

New York, NY, August 31, 2020 — As children in wealthier countries begin to head back to a different model of school or continue remote learning, a new analysis from the IRC finds continued disruptions for children within humanitarian settings, leading to widening gaps in accessing quality education. Prior to COVID-19, 250 million school-aged children were out of school, with the majority of those impacted living in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. COVID-19 has further widened this divide, with 86% of children in developing countries at the primary school level no longer having access to education, compared to 20% in developed countries[1].

As schools in fragile states remain closed, and as the economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to take their toll on families, children are at a higher risk of dropping out of school altogether. The consequences are even more dire for girls, who face additional risks of exploitation, early marriage, pregnancy, and child labor. Estimates suggest more than half of all refugee girls will not return when schools open[2]. Those without access to digital technology are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 as they cannot transition from the classroom to online learning. A recent analysis found less than one-quarter of low-income countries are providing any form of remote instruction[3]. Moreover, remote learning options available to children in wealthier contexts are impossible in humanitarian settings given limited access to the Internet. In the least-developed countries, only two in ten households have access to the Internet[4].

Education remains critically underfunded in humanitarian settings, receiving less than 3% of aid annually, and prior to COVID-19, faced an $8.5 billion annual deficit[5]. Despite increased international attention to the loss of learning stemming from COVID-19, this has yet to change. The Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19 calls for a mere 4% of the $10.26 billion appeal to go to education. As of August, only $277 million of the $403 million requested has been provided for education programs–a $135 million gap for the rest of this year alone[6].

“While the global scale of this crisis is unprecedented, interruptions to education and threats to children’s learning are commonplace in countries affected by crisis,” said Sarah Smith, senior director, education, International Rescue Committee. “But we know that children and their families are inherently resilient, and we now have an opportunity to work together to transform business as usual and provide quality, innovative learning opportunities in the most challenging contexts on earth. By getting creative in how children access learning and ensuring the most vulnerable children are included in all educational plans that take into account their unique experiences and varying degrees of digital access, we can lessen the disruptions and build better systems that work for all children.”…

Food Security and COVID-19 – World Bank Brief

Food Security and COVID-19
World Bank Brief
August 31, 2020
Alarmed by a potential rise in food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries and organizations are mounting special efforts to keep agriculture safely running as an essential business, markets well supplied in affordable and nutritious food, and consumers still able to access and purchase food despite movement restrictions and income losses.

This page summarizes the evolving agriculture and food situation and provides links to World Bank and other resources. Updates are frequently posted on this page.

Overview
Global agricultural markets continue to remain stable as food trade has remained more resilient than overall trade. Global production levels for the three most widely consumed staples (rice, wheat and maize) are at or near all-time highs. However, the prices of certain cash crops — an important source of rural income — have been depressed by the slowing of global demand.

Given the status of global food supplies, export restrictions are unwarranted and could hurt food security in importing countries. The World Bank has joined other organizations in calling for collective action to keep food trade flowing between countries.

The primary risks to food security are at the country level: as the coronavirus crisis unfolds, disruptions in domestic food supply chains, other shocks affecting food production, and loss of incomes and remittances are creating strong tensions and food security risks in many countries. Despite stable global food prices, numerous countries are experiencing varying levels of food price inflation due to measures taken to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Food producers also face large losses on perishable and nutritious food as buyers have become limited and consumption patterns shift. Though food insecurity is by and large not driven by food shortages, disruptions to the supply of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, seeds or labor shortages could diminish next season’s crop. If farmers are experiencing acute hunger, they may also prioritize buying food today over planting seeds for tomorrow, raising the threat of food shortages later on.

Food security “hot spots” include:
:: fragile and conflict-affected states, where logistics and distribution are difficult even without morbidity and social distancing.
:: countries affected by multiple crises resulting from more frequent extreme weather events (floods, droughts) and pests such as the current locusts plague – the worst in decades— impacting food production in 23 countries.
:: the poor and vulnerable, including the 690 million people who were already chronically food insecure before the COVID-19 crisis impacted movement and incomes.
:: countries with significant currency depreciation, (driving up the cost of food imports) and countries seeing other commodity prices collapse (reducing their capacity to import food)…

World manufacturing set for biggest collapse in decades but impacts uneven – UNIDO report

COVID-19 Impacts – Global Manufacturing

World Manufacturing Production – Statistics for Quarter II 2020
Global manufacturing has collapsed, but China’s manufacturing is showing early signs of recovery
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization
September 2020 :: 19 pages

Media Release
World manufacturing set for biggest collapse in decades but impacts uneven – UNIDO report
During the second quarter of 2020, manufacturing production fell sharply in most countries around the world, with the notable exception of China where output had already returned to moderate growth. On current estimates, UNIDO expects a decline in global manufacturing value added of 8.4 per cent for the year as a whole, which would make 2020 the worst year on official records for the sector.

In the second quarter of 2020 (April-June), global manufacturing output fell by 11.2 per cent compared with the same quarter in the previous year, according to official figures from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The dramatic drop reflects the economic impact of measures imposed to halt the spread of COVID-19, which overshadowed all other negative influences on the sector, including higher trade barriers and the impact of Brexit.

UNIDO anticipates ongoing disruptions to manufacturing over the coming months as the world continues to grapple with the impacts of the pandemic. “Based on this scenario, and on developments in manufacturing linked to other economic variables, UNIDO is forecasting a fall in global manufacturing value added of 8.4 per cent in 2020, which would mark the biggest collapse in output since official records began,” UNIDO Chief Statistician Fernando Cantu said.

Some countries are likely to be harder hit than others, with China expected to record a more modest drop of 1.6 per cent compared with the United States and Europe’s industrialized economies where value added in 2020 is forecast to plummet by 15 per cent and 14.3 per cent, respectively.

Cantu noted, however, that more time was needed to assess the full impact of containment measures on households, businesses and government balance sheets. In addition, he cautioned that “recent developments in several countries point to a possible second wave of the pandemic, which could require the return of harsher economic restrictions, with knock-on effects on supply and demand”.

Figures for the second quarter show a wide divergence between China and the rest of the world, as well as between and within developing and industrialized economies. China was one of the first countries to impose a lockdown and most of the impact was felt during the first three months of the year. By the second quarter, China’s manufacturing output had already returned to growth, increasing by 2.8 per cent year-on-year, led by industries such as computer electronics (11.2 per cent), electrical equipment (6.8 per cent) and machinery (6.3 per cent)…

The Tragedy of Vaccine Nationalism – Foreign Affairs :: September/October 2020

Featured Media Content

The Tragedy of Vaccine Nationalism
Only Cooperation Can End the Pandemic
Foreign Affairs September/October 2020
By Thomas J. Bollyky and Chad P. Bown
[Open Access]
Trump administration officials have compared the global allocation of vaccines against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 to oxygen masks dropping inside a depressurizing airplane. “You put on your own first, and then we want to help others as quickly as possible,” Peter Marks, a senior official at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration who oversaw the initial phases of vaccine development for the U.S. government, said during a panel discussion in June. The major difference, of course, is that airplane oxygen masks do not drop only in first class—which is the equivalent of what will happen when vaccines eventually become available if governments delay providing access to them to people in other countries…

…THE POWER OF FOMO
When the oxygen masks drop in a depressurizing plane, they drop at the same time in every part of the plane because time is of the essence and because that is the best way to ensure the safety of all onboard. The same is true of the global, equitable allocation of safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19.

Vaccine nationalism is not just morally and ethically reprehensible: it is contrary to every country’s economic, strategic, and health interests. If rich, powerful countries choose that path, there will be no winners—ultimately, every country will be a loser. The world is not doomed to learn this the hard way, however. All the necessary tools exist to forge an agreement that would encourage cooperation and limit the appeal of shortsighted “my country first” approaches.

But time is running out: the closer the world gets to the day when the first proven vaccines emerge, the less time there is to set up an equitable, enforceable system for allocating them. As a first step, a coalition of political leaders from countries representing at least 50 percent of global vaccine-manufacturing capacity must get together and instruct their public health officials and trade ministers to get out of their silos and work together. Combining forces, they should hammer out a short-term agreement that articulates the conditions for sharing, including with the legions of poorer, nonmanufacturing countries, and makes clear what would happen to participants who subsequently reneged and undertook vaccine nationalism. Such a step would get the ball rolling and convince even more of the manufacturing countries to sign on. The fear of missing out on vaccine access, in the event their countries’ own vaccine candidates fail, may be what it takes to pressure even today’s most reluctant leaders to cooperate.

Coronavirus [COVID-19] – PHEIC

EMERGENCIES

Coronavirus [COVID-19]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Weekly Epidemiological and Operational updates August 2020
Confirmed cases :: 26 468 031 [week ago: 24 587 513]
Confirmed deaths :: 871 166 [week ago: 833 556]

Weekly Epidemiological Update 
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
4 September 2020

WHO response in countries
3 September 2020
A live digital Platform behind the scenes for more effective and transparent country response

2 September 2020
WHO updates clinical care guidance with corticosteroid recommendations

31 August 2020
Athens protects vulnerable communities during COVID-19

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