Health

UN chief Guterres pushes for implementation of global vaccine plan

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday called for a global vaccination plan to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines globally.

Mr Guterres made the call while briefing reporters ahead of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) at UN headquarters in New York.

The 76th Session of UNGA will start on September 15, while the high-level week will be on September 21.

The UN chief released a report on “Our Common Agenda’’ setting out his vision for the future of global cooperation.

He said it was the immediate joint challenge of member’ states to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We still have an opportunity to act together, in solidarity and self-interest, to end the pandemic before it does even more damage.

“I hope the forthcoming General Debate will see action on a global vaccination plan, implemented by an emergency task force.

“The Task Force is made up of countries that produce or can produce vaccines, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and its partners, and international financial institutions.

“This Task Force should work with pharmaceutical companies guaranteeing at least that production of vaccines will double and ensure that vaccines reach seventy per cent of the world’s population in the first half of 2022,” he said.

The UN chief said the next two weeks would also see opportunities for action on the climate crisis and an inclusive, equitable recovery from the pandemic.

He said it would also see the inclusion of decent jobs and social protection, ending the scourge of racial discrimination, transforming our food systems so that they deliver for all, and eliminating nuclear weapons.

“In all these meetings, I hope Member States will heed the warning signs and the calls of their own people for unity and solidarity,” the top UN official said.

He said he hoped that the Member States would see his report on ‘Our Common Agenda’ as the beginning of a global effort to come together and fulfil the potential of nations united.

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