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Joint Statement on Global Solidarity for Vaccine Equity

2021-10-01 10:44

Mr. Chair,

I have the honor to deliver a joint statement on Global Solidarity for Vaccine Equity on behalf of the core group members Algeria, Egypt, El Salvador, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa and my own country China, and on behalf of the following co-sponsors: Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kiribati, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, the State of Palestine, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates, the United Republic of Tanzania, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Yemen and Zambia .

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest global challenges in the history of the United Nations and confronts all countries in the world.

We are deeply concerned that the pandemic has brought severe impact across all spheres of human society, including on health and the loss of life, the exacerbation of poverty and hunger, disruption to economies, trade, societies and environments, and the enjoyment of human rights. We are worried that the pandemic has a disproportionately heavy impact on women, older persons, youth, children, migrants and persons with disabilities, especially those in vulnerable situations. We are also concerned about the rise in discrimination, hate speech, misinformation, disinformation, stigmatization, racism and xenophobia related to the pandemic.

We reaffirm the right of every human being, without distinction of any kind, to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

The pandemic knows no borders. The only solution lies in global solidarity, unity and multilateral cooperation. We call on all states and stakeholders to strengthen solidarity and international cooperation to contain, mitigate and overcome the pandemic and its consequences, ensure protection for those most affected, including women, children, youth, the older persons and persons with disabilities, and take measures to counter misinformation, disinformation, stigmatization, racism and xenophobia. At this critical time, it is crucial to step up our joint efforts to leave no one behind.

Mr. Chair,

We recognize the need to begin treating the COVID-19 vaccine as a global public good for health. We commend the contributions made by relevant countries and platforms such as Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and its vaccine pillar, the COVAX facility, for promoting vaccine accessibility and affordability through bilateral and multilateral channels.

However, vaccine equity is still far from being reached. The progress on vaccine roll-out has been widely uneven and unfair. Many countries, in particular the developing world, still lack adequate access to available and affordable vaccines. We are also worried by disturbing trend of vaccine nationalism and stockpiling of vaccine doses beyond need. In that regard, we welcome the WHO's call to prioritize vaccinating the people most at-risk around the world who are yet to receive their first dose.

We support the Secretary General's call for vaccine equity in order to ensure no country is left behind. We call upon all states and relevant stakeholders to step up coordinated and concerted efforts for fair and equitable distribution of vaccines in developing countries, including in LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS, low and middle income countries to ensure that the populations in the developing countries enjoy the right to life and the right to health. We call on capable vaccine-producing countries to translate their commitment into actions and ensure timely and adequate delivery of vaccine support to receiving countries.

We encourage support to the ACT Accelerator and its COVAX Facility and call upon international financial institutions and other international organizations to provide financial support for vaccine procurement and for strengthening production capabilities in developing countries.

We reaffirm the spirit of solidarity and multilateral cooperation and urge states to reject vaccine nationalism and avoid stockpiling, lift export restrictions on relevant vaccines and raw materials, and ensure cross-border flows of vaccines.

We call for an early decision on the waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines at the WTO and encourage countries to further strengthen international cooperation by conducting joint research and development, authorized production and technology transfers with the aim to increase local, national, regional and global production capacities of vaccines. This is a life saving decision.

We welcome the efforts made by civil society, private sector, academia and all relevant stakeholders in vaccine research, production and delivery.

We call on all states and all stakeholders to strengthen global solidarity and jointly promote fair, affordable, equitable, timely and universal distribution and strengthen local production of vaccines around the world.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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