G-7 Foreign Ministers' Joint Statement on Ebola
The text of the following statement was released by the Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and High Representative of the European Union:
We, the Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the High Representative of the European Union, express our deepest concern about the unprecedented spread of Ebola in parts of West Africa. We are deeply saddened by the loss of thousands of lives and the suffering the disease is inflicting. We note with regret that there appears to be no standard cure against the Ebola virus yet. We recognize the courageous efforts undertaken by volunteers and health workers in the region. We urge the international community to bring high-quality medical care to Ebola patients including healthcare workers and accelerate development and testing of vaccines and therapies.
We underscore our willingness to provide relief to the countries ravaged by the virus and emphasize our common understanding that Ebola is a common global threat to peace and security. We recall that the G7 has played a leading role in combatting infectious diseases and we express our firm determination to support all necessary efforts to stop the Ebola virus from spreading further and prevent this humanitarian disaster from worsening.
We welcome the leading role of the United Nations and the World Health Organization and the decision to launch the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). We acknowledge also the response of countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. We underline that the current crisis has a humanitarian as well as a regional security dimension. To address the latter, we look forward to entering into a dialogue with the most affected countries, the neighbouring states and international partners.
We applaud the international assistance coming from the World Bank, the African Union, the African Development Bank, the European Union, non-governmental organizations and private companies, and we urge everyone in the international community – governments and non-state actors alike - to immediately increase its support.
We express our readiness to assist the affected countries in their fight against Ebola as well as their efforts to cope with Ebola-induced challenges such as shortages in the provision of non-Ebola basic healthcare, shortages in food and budgetary constraints.
We underline the necessity to enhance the ability of the countries concerned to fight the disease themselves – i.e. through the provision of medical care and equipment, training of medical personal, and secondment of medical experts as well as the need to assist them in rebuilding their health services.
In this context, we warn that although the spread of Ebola must be contained, affected countries must not be isolated. We underscore that the provision of assistance depends on unhindered access to the countries concerned, and underline that G7 countries with the UN will encourage and maintain air and maritime links with the countries concerned. The G7 call on other countries to follow this practice. In order to facilitate and streamline the transportation of essential goods and equipment, G7 countries support the establishment of regional transportation hubs.
We commend international health care workers working in affected countries for their selfless commitment and brave services, putting their own lives at risk. We agree to provide the best possible care for international health care workers in the event they contract the virus. To this end, G7 countries will coordinate capabilities and resources to help to ensure appropriate treatment locally as well as for airborne medical evacuation and hospitalization of infected international health care workers taking due account of the EU initiative in this field.
We underline the importance of the UN Mission in Liberia and call on all countries to maintain their level of support for the mission.
This crisis requires an urgent and prompt response to control the spread of the virus, but also a long term approach that extends beyond the immediate containment of the disease. Even while we are responding to the immediate Ebola epidemic, we must also act to establish capacity around the world to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to disease threats like Ebola. In order to do so, we support the implementation of the International Health Regulations and the Global Health Security Agenda.
G7 Africa Directors have already met in New York. They will continue to cooperate closely in all aspects of the Ebola crisis and will reach out to the countries affected.