UNGA: S/African leader urges ‘equitable access to vaccines’

Speaking on Thursday during the general debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Ramaphosa expressed“ great concern that the global community has not sustained the principles of solidarity and cooperation in securing equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.”. He urged all UN member states to support the proposal for a temporary…

APA-Pretoria (South Africa) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has told world leaders that until they fight Covid-19 together, the pandemic will continue to spread and turn into new mutations spreading all over the world.

Speaking on Thursday during the general debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76), Ramaphosa expressed “great concern that the global community has not sustained the principles of solidarity and cooperation in securing equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.”

“Unless we address this (vaccine equity) as a matter of urgency, the pandemic will last much longer and new mutations of the virus will spread and emerge,” Ramaphosa said.

The president told the world leaders that vaccines were the greatest defence that humanity has against the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ramaphosa said it was an indictment on humanity that more than 82% of the world’s vaccine doses have been acquired by wealthy countries, while less than 1% has gone to low-income countries.

He took the opportunity to reaffirm South Africa’s call for fair and equitable distribution of vaccines.

He urged all UN member states to support the proposal for a temporary waiver of certain trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights agreements to allow more countries, particularly poorer nations, to produce Covid-19 vaccines.

“In this interconnected world, no country is safe until every country is safe,” he added.

The UNGA general debate is being held under the theme, “Building Resilience Through Hope – To Recover from Covid-19, Rebuild Sustainably, Respond to the Needs of the Planet, Respect the Rights of People, and Revitalise the United Nations”.

NM/jn/APA

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