UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has criticised what he calls the “wildly uneven and unfair” global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines amid the pandemic.
Guterres made these remarks at an online meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday that was chaired by British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, the NHK World reported. The UN chief noted that just 10 countries have administered 75 per cent of all vaccines, while more than 130 have not received a single dose.
He urged UN member states to support the COVAX Facility, a framework run by the World Health Organization and other bodies to ensure fair distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.
“Progress on COVID-19 vaccinations has been wildly uneven and unfair. The world urgently needs a Global Vaccination Plan to bring together all those with the required power, expertise, and production capacities. I am ready to mobilize the full @UN System in support of this effort,” the UN chief tweeted.
He also called for the creation of a global vaccination plan to ensure equal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.
“The world urgently needs a global vaccination plan to bring together all those with the required power, scientific expertise, and production and financial capacities,” Guterres said in a UN Security Council meeting. “I believe the G20 is well placed to establish an emergency task force to prepare such a global vaccination plan and coordinate its implementation and financing.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing will contribute 10 million doses of its vaccines to COVAX. He also said that China has donated vaccines to 53 developing countries.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has pledged payment of over USD 200 million to the WHO by the end of February. President Joe Biden reversed his predecessor’s withdrawal from the UN agency. Blinken also told the meeting that Washington is planning significant financial support for COVAX.
According to the Johns Hopkins University data, 109,901,090 COVID-19 cases and 2,430,096 deaths have been reported globally.
The UN is seeking international solidarity in swiftly providing vaccines to developing countries with poor healthcare systems as variants of the virus continue to spread.