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G7 Science and Technology Ministers' Declaration on COVID-19

May 28, 2020

A Shared Vision for Science and Technology in Responding to the Pandemic, Protecting Human Health, and Promoting Social and Economic Recovery

Recognizing the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on people's health, well-being, and livelihoods;

Recognizing the G7 Leaders' Statement on COVID-19 expressing the need for a strongly coordinated international approach, based on science and evidence, consistent with our democratic values, including encouraging science, research, and technology cooperation and utilizing the strengths of private enterprise;

Recognizing the COVID-19 Response Statement of the G-20 Digital Ministers highlighting the important role of advanced technologies for fighting pandemics and other crises;

Recognizing the crucial role of science and technology (S&T) in the fight against COVID-19, in the prevention of future global pandemics, and the social and economic recovery and future strength of the G7 and other nations;

Recognizing that the impacts of the pandemic are different across countries, regions, and demographic groups;

Seeking to marshal the full power of our governments to support international S&T cooperation to urgently address these global challenges in a sustainable and inclusive manner;

Recognising the international initiatives undertaken since the COVID-19 outbreak by the G7 countries to further the collaborative development and broad deployment of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against the coronavirus;

Acknowledging the potential of science diplomacy, in particular the importance of science and research for advancing innovation as well as evidence-based policy-making;

Desiring to fully harness S&T to develop effective measures to combat the current pandemic and to predict, prevent, and mitigate future outbreaks, and chart a path to reopening the global economy and recovering stronger;

Aiming to coordinate global research and development (R&D) responses to the ongoing pandemic, offering access to the most advanced research infrastructures and data, and minimizing barriers to collaboration while protecting intellectual property rights;

Understanding the particular importance of collecting and providing public access to validated pandemic-related data while maintaining data security and privacy in accordance with relevant laws and regulations and maintaining citizens' trust in the use of their data;

Understanding that safe resumption of global economic activity relies upon highly collaborative R&D to develop, manufacture, and deploy effective and safe COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, healthcare interventions, vaccines, and personal protective equipment;

Communicating the need for researchers around the world to have timely access to the advanced experimental and computing resources and artificial intelligence (AI) tools necessary to solve the world's most challenging scientific problems, including epidemiological, cellular, and molecular modeling; analysis; bioinformatics; health outcomes research; and understanding the spread of communicable diseases;

Recognizing the importance of secure and resilient digital infrastructure, including support for remote learning and working, health systems, virtual care and telehealth services, and job upskilling and reskilling programs;

Recognizing the importance of multistakeholder contributions and the role that innovative businesses and start-ups can play in bringing new ideas and technologies to the public;

Seeking to emphasize the unique leadership that G7 countries contribute amid ongoing governmental and non-governmental international efforts, including recognizing the needs of the world's most vulnerable people; and,

Recognizing the importance of shared values, including freedom of inquiry, merit-based competition, openness, transparency, and reciprocity, as well as the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, privacy, and democratic values in international cooperation;

The G7 Science and Technology Ministers intend to work collaboratively, with other relevant Ministers to:

Enhance cooperation on shared COVID-19 research priority areas, such as basic and applied research, public health, and clinical studies. Build on existing mechanisms to further priorities, including identifying COVID-19 cases and understanding virus spread while protecting privacy and personal data; developing rapid and accurate diagnostics to speed new testing technologies; discovering, manufacturing, and deploying safe and effective therapies and vaccines; and implementing innovative modeling, adequate and inclusive health system management, and predictive analytics to assist with preventing future pandemics.

Make government-sponsored COVID-19 epidemiological and related research results, data, and information accessible to the public in machine-readable formats, to the greatest extent possible, in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, including privacy and intellectual property laws. Identify research results, data, and information crucial to addressing the current COVID-19 pandemic response and to preventing potential future pandemics, in an effort to advance research, clinical care, public health, and public communication. Identify current data gaps, make anonymized data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable, and recognize the importance of open science, which increases public accessibility to research results and data. Exchange best practices and lessons learned on the ethical and transparent use of data in the COVID-19 response and beyond. Share tools and methods for responsible use of data, and for more transparent, participatory, and accountable use of data, recognizing ongoing initiatives, including on repositories.

Strengthen the use of high-performance computing for COVID-19 response. Make national high-performance computing resources available, as appropriate, to domestic research communities for COVID-19 and pandemic research, while safeguarding intellectual property. Enhance cooperation between G7 partners and ongoing initiatives, such as the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, the Partnership for High Performance Computing in Europe, and the High Performance Computing Infrastructure in Japan.

Launch the Global Partnership on AI, envisioned under the 2018 and 2019 G7 Presidencies of Canada and France, to enhance multi-stakeholder cooperation in the advancement of AI that reflects our shared democratic values and addresses shared global challenges, with an initial focus that includes responding to and recovering from COVID-19. Commit to the responsible and human-centric development and use of AI in a manner consistent with human rights, fundamental freedoms, and our shared democratic values.

Exchange best practices to advance broadband connectivity; minimize workforce disruptions, support distance learning and working; enable access to smart health systems, virtual care, and telehealth services; promote job upskilling and reskilling programs to prepare the workforce of the future; and support global social and economic recovery, in an inclusive manner while promoting data protection, privacy, and security.

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Source: U.S. Department of State


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