"The world must wake up. We are on the brink of an abyss and moving in the wrong direction," the UN Secretary-General warned.
During his opening speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Secretary General Antonio Guterres described the current situation of COVID-19 vaccination at the international level as "an obscenity" since over 90 percent of the African population still you have not accessed a first dose.
He harshly criticized the lack of solidarity and highlighted it as a reflection of the great problems the world faces nowadays.
"On the one hand, we see vaccines developed in record time, a victory for science and human ingenuity. On the other hand, we see a triumph ruined by the tragedy of lack of political will, selfishness and mistrust," Guterres said, adding that the world "passed the science test" but has a failure in ethics.
"Perhaps an image tells the story of our time. The photo that we have seen of some parts of the world with COVID-19 vaccines in the garbage, expired and unused," he stressed and demanded from the UNGA members a global vaccination plan to ensure that vaccines reach 70 percent of the world's population in the first half of 2022.
Our vaccination data is updated: https://t.co/3imP7PqURn— Our World in Data (@OurWorldInData) September 14, 2021
�� 5.76 billion doses administered globally
�� 42% of world population with at least 1 dose
�� Doses administered per 100 people:
High-income countries: 120
Upper-middle income: 115
Lower-middle income: 38
Low income: 3 pic.twitter.com/67Gsz0u80i
Gutierres also presented a gloomy analysis of the international situation when referring to the little progress in the fight against climate change and the crises in countries such as Afghanistan, Yemen and Ethiopia.
The world "has never been so threatened or so divided ... The world must wake up. We are on the brink of an abyss and moving in the wrong direction," he said.
The current UNGA issue will continue until Sept. 27 with the face-to-face participation of a hundred leaders from around the world. Taking advantage of this meeting, the U.S. President Joe Biden will host a virtual summit on Wednesday to discuss an international response to the COVID-19 pandemic.