The COVID19 pandemic has been described by many, including leading health experts, international organisations and political leaders around the world, as the greatest challenge humanity has faced since the Second World War and as the greatest threat to global public health of our lifetime. It has become a global health crisis that has transformed life as we know it. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have tragically lost their lives, leaving behind their families and loved ones. Our healthcare systems have been put under extraordinary pressure, and we pay tribute to our heroic frontline healthcare workers, who put themselves at risk every day to save lives and protect all of us. Our economies have suffered considerable losses, jobs have been lost, and societies have been kept apart because of social distancing.
At the onset of the crisis, it was thought that perhaps every country could face their own challenges alone. However, it quickly became apparent that this could not be the case. It is clear that to deal with a multifaceted global crisis, it is necessary and of utmost importance to have a global response, with communities, regions and countries coming together at all levels as a united team, in the spirit of resilience, togetherness, and above all, solidarity. In the past few weeks, we have seen unprecedented cooperation across the world to address the most pressing issues, including supplies of essential equipment and medicines that our hospitals require and exceptional economic support measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on our economies and societies.
Now we stand at a critical phase of our common fight which will require more global coordination and solidarity than ever. We must jointly strive to support worldwide efforts to develop, manufacture, equally distribute and ensure access to safe and effective treatments and vaccines for all, especially the most vulnerable countries and societies. To do so we will need to pool resources and expertise from all stakeholders, both public and private, in a joint effort for the public good.
On May 4, the EU called on all of them to demonstrate this spirit of solidarity by contributing to a global pledge aimed at closing the funding gaps necessary for the critical research needed to develop a cure for the virus. This is how we will overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the fight of our generation. We face it together and we will rise to the occasion together. This is our fundamental duty to our citizens.