GZERO event highlights: IMF chief, G7 vaccine pledges, global health security

For IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva (above), a two-track pandemic means a two-track recovery that'll hurt the entire world in the long run. That's why she anticipates G7 leaders meeting this week will commit to sending about one billion doses of COVID vaccines to the developing world by the end of the year in new financing and shots unused by wealthy nations. Georgieva hopes it'll be a summit that gives all countries "a fair short in the arm, a fair shot at the future."

Georgieva was one of many experts who joined this week's two-part livestream discussion about post-pandemic health security hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with Flagship Pioneering, Beyond the Pandemic: A Radical New Approach to Health Security, presented in partnership with Flagship Pioneering.


This year's G7 meeting comes at the right time for its members to start thinking together about how to prevent the next pandemic, says UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock. Part of that conversation, in his view, should focus on how to reform the World Health Organization so it can quickly — and independently — act when the next new pathogen emerges.

G7 Comes at Right Time To Start Talking WHO Reform | UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock | GZERO Media youtu.be

Why has the much-touted COVAX global facility failed to deliver on its promise of equitable distribution of COVID vaccines despite big pledges from rich nations and multilateral organizations like the IMF? "Don't commit to what you cannot achieve," says Agnes Binagwaho, Vice Chancellor at the University of Global Health Equity, who calls out top Western donors for often not walking the talk on commitments — unlike China and India.

“Don't Commit to What You Cannot Achieve" — How the West Hurts COVAX | Agnes Binagwaho | GZERO Media youtu.be

When will we need COVID vaccine boosters against new variants? Probably before the fall, according to Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel. And what about IP waivers? He says they are not the solution, and could have negative unintended consequences like stifling future investment in innovative technologies that allowed vaccines to be developed in record time.

Moderna CEO on Vaccine Boosters Timeline, IP Waivers | Stephane Bancel | GZERO Media youtu.be

Why is the US not investing huge amounts in health security for Americans and the rest of the world? For Ian Bremmer, the government sees value in spending big on national security or tech to counter China, but less so in bolstering our defenses against public health threats. If this continues, he warns, America will be as ill-prepared for the next pandemic as it was for COVID.

Why Doesn't the US Invest More in Health Security? | Ian Bremmer | GZERO Media youtu.be

Watch key moments from the first part of this series on June 8, "Beyond the Pandemic: A Radical New Approach to Health Security,"

This live event series is produced by GZERO Media in partnership with Flagship Pioneering. We thank our event partners, Partnership for a Healthier America and Medtronic.

Ken Burns discusses Muhammad Ali's background and how the journey of boxing's greatest champion is just as relevant today—in sport, culture and beyond.

"He is speaking to us with a kind of force and clarity...that to me is just so enduring." - Ken Burns

In a frank (and in-person!) interview, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, speaks with Ian Bremmer at the UN ahead of the annual General Assembly week. Guterres discusses COVID, climate, the US-China rift, and the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, and does not mince words when it comes to the dire state of the world. "We are standing at the edge of an abyss," Guterres warns. COVID is "defeating" the global community and a climate catastrophe is all but assured without drastic action. Amidst this unprecedented peril, there remains a startling lack of trust among nations. And yet, there is still hope.

No country in the Western Hemisphere is more closely associated with disaster and misery than the Caribbean nation of Haiti. Its latest upheaval centers on news that the country's top prosecutor wants Haiti's prime minister to answer questions about the murder of the president in July. Haiti is again locked in a power struggle among competing factions within its ruling elite.

Why is Haiti still so poor and disaster-prone?

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For Michael Chertoff, former US secretary of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009, the fact that America has not experienced a single attack by foreign terrorists since 9/11 proves that the US was "successful" in its strategy to prevent terrorism. That "was not [an] accident and there was a deterrent effect to be honest — had we been lax, more would have tried." Although he admits the US government wasn't transparent enough about the intelligence it was collecting, Chertoff credits US intelligence agencies with helping to foil the plot to blow up airplanes mid-air from Heathrow to the US in 2006. The US mission in Iraq, or what came after was not clearly thought out, according to Michael Chertoff, who served as the Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security under George W. Bush. The Iraq war made it difficult to focus on the US mission in Afghanistan and absorbed resources that could have been used more effectively elsewhere, he said.

Watch the full episode: Is America safer since 9/11?

Listen: In a frank interview on the GZERO World podcast, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, speaks with Ian Bremmer at the UN ahead of the annual General Assembly week. Guterres discusses COVID, climate, the US-China rift, and the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, and does not mince words when it comes to the dire state of the world. "We are standing at the edge of an abyss," Guterres warns. COVID is "defeating" the global community and a climate catastrophe is all but assured without drastic action. Amidst this unprecedented peril, there remains a startling lack of trust among nations. And yet, there is still hope.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.


"Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still." — Harry S. Truman

The former US president's warning feels particularly prescient as world leaders prepare to gather at the 76th United National General Assembly in New York City, the first such in-person event in over 18 months. The importance of apt leadership in determining societies' ability to cope — and survive — has been on full display since COVID-19 enveloped the globe, decimating communities and killing some 4.5 million people.

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As the 76th UN General Assembly gets underway, dealing with the pandemic is still the top priority for world leaders. But for John Frank, vice president of UN Global Affairs at Microsoft, COVID is not the only major challenge the world faces today.

One of them — included in the UN Secretary-General's new Common Agenda for strong, inclusive pandemic recovery — is a different way to measure economic growth beyond the traditional productivity-led GDP model by taking more into account the cost of pollution, one of the main causes of climate change.

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For UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the pandemic has made the world even more divided than it was before COVID. That's especially true on climate, in his view, because rich and poor countries simply don't trust each other anymore. If we want COP26 to succeed, Guterres says we must rebuild that trust — or face the consequences of inaction. "If you are on the verge of an abyss, you must be careful about your next step." Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on the latest episode of GZERO World.

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UNGA 76: Vaccines, climate, crises

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UN Chief: Still time to avert climate “abyss”

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