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Munir Akram calls for equal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines

UN Committee adopts Pakistan’s resolution on right of self-determination

NEW YORK: Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Munir Akram has said that the global community must take steps to avoid vaccine nationalism both in terms of distribution and production.

In a media briefing in New York Munir Akram said, “We have to address the crisis of unfairness because we cannot build back better if we continue on this path of inequality.”

The vaccine inequality is becoming more and more visible and this will translate into inequality in the impact of the pandemic, both economic and social, he added.

Speaking of the pandemic’s impact on people across the globe, he said, “We have seen the inequality between countries and between people within countries. The poor people, both in the rich and the poorest countries, have suffered the most,” he added.

“This is a vivid illustration of the nature of our international system and national structures, where there is no equity,” Akram said, noting that 100 million people have been pushed into poverty during this crisis.

Turning to recovery from the pandemic, Akram said, “We require mobilizing the financing for recovery from the Covid-19 plague.”

He informed the Economic and Social Council’s financing for Development forum will meet on Monday in a high-level segment meeting with the heads of state and heads of government as well as ministers, noting, “It is my hope that we will come out with some positive developments at this session.”

“I have been delighted by the fact that there is an agreement at the G20 level for the creation of 650 billion dollars in new SDRs Special Drawing Rights,” the ambassador said.

In the meantime, the ECOSOC president reiterated the UN’s stance of opposing vaccine nationalism, “both in the production, as well as in the distribution of the vaccines.”

 “There is still a gap of about 16 billion dollars, as I understand it in financing the COVAX facility, which was meant to buy vaccines and distribute deals to at least 20 percent of the priority populations in all countries,” he said.

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