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Thursday 28th September 2023 / 13 Rabiulawal 1445

China to donate 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to UN peacekeepers

BEIJING: China has offered to donate 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to United Nations peacekeepers, with priority given to peacekeeping missions in Africa.

China’s Permanent Representative to the UN Zhang Jun in a statement informed UN Secretary-General António Guterres that China decided to provide its vaccines to a global public good and contribute to vaccine availability in developing countries.

The Chinese Permanent Mission further said that the decision is another step toward making China’s vaccines a global public good.

“As one of the champions of (the) safety and security issue under the Action for peacekeeping (A4P) plan of the UN Secretary-General, China attaches great significance to the wellbeing and security of peacekeepers, and hold-ups early coronavirus vaccination for UN peacekeepers to guard their health,” read the statement.

The Chinese government committed to working closely with the UN Secretariat to make vaccines donated by China available to the peacekeepers at an early time, the mission added.

The battle against the COVID-19 epidemic is the most pressing job facing humankind today, and vaccines are the most powerful weapon to triumph the fight, the mission noted.

The representative stressed that China attaches great significance to the impartial distribution of vaccines, particularly affordability and accessibility in developing countries.

“China will carry on to work in solidarity with countries across the globe to make unremitting attempts to succeed the final victory of the global fight against the pandemic,” the mission added.

As of Monday, China had provided vaccine assistance to 69 countries and two international organizations. It also has exported vaccines to 28 countries, the mission noted, adding, “more and more countries and people are benefiting from China’s vaccines”.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced China’s decision to donate vaccines to peacekeepers during a Security Council meeting on Feb 17.

As of Jan 31, there were 85,782 UN peacekeepers comprising military, police and civilians, serving in 12 peacekeeping operations, six of those in Africa, according to data from the UN.

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