The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep structural inequalities in the international system which proponents of multilateralism, like Germany and Canada, have an opportunity to address, argues Dr. Peter Singer. Singer explains that, first and foremost, the two G7 nations must promote vaccine equity by not only providing doses but ramping up domestic manufacturing in the Global South to end the pandemic once and for all around the world. Once that lofty challenge has been addressed, then Singer argues that preventing future pandemics through mechanisms such as a pandemic treaty and/or an international instrument, and ensuring that the WHO is well-funded, will be essential along with a sustainable economic recovery in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Concluding, Singer emphasizes that leadership is needed to adequately achieve these goals and this is where Canada and Germany can make the largest impact.
Peter A. Singer
Peter A. Singer is a Special Advisor to the Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization. He supports the Director-General to transform WHO into an Organization sharply focused on impact at the country level. Before joining WHO, Dr. Peter Singer co-founded two innovative, results-driven, social impact organizations. From 2008-2018 Singer was Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada. During this period Grand Challenges Canada raised CAN $450M to support 1000 innovations in more than 90 countries, which have the potential to save 450,000-1.6 million lives and improve 11-35 million lives by 2030. From 1996-2006 he was Sun Life Financial Chair and Director of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics. He is also a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.