Vaccine inequality and lack of solidarity is entrenching many other inequalities and injustices between countries and regions, between rich and poor, and between the global North and the global South.
At the “Group of 77” and China Foreign Ministers Meeting held in New York on Tuesday, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres argued that the only way out of a global pandemic is through a global vaccination campaign, stressing that COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on developed and developing countries alike.
The UN stands behind the vaccination strategy set out by the World Health Organization, with the goal of getting vaccines into the arms of 40 percent of people in all countries by the end of this year, and 70 percent by the middle of 2022.
"Everyone, everywhere, must have access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatment," Guterres said, asking for support for the ACT-accelerator and the COVAX facility.
He also pointed out that vaccine inequality and lack of solidarity is entrenching many other inequalities and injustices between countries and regions, between rich and poor, and between the global North and the global South. In this regard, for example, Guterres recalled that the world economy is projected to grow by 5.9 per cent this year. But the pace of recovery is extremely uneven.
"This is not surprising, when developed economies are able to invest 28 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP) in recovery, but middle-income countries can only invest 6.5 per cent and the least developed countries only 1.8 per cent of a far smaller amount," he commented.
Monitoring new variants is a key step in bringing the pandemic to an end.— Edouard Mathieu (@redouad) November 30, 2021
But we can only do that if enough cases are sequenced and reported quickly. And the sequencing effort varies enormously across countries.
We now show this in our Data Explorer: https://t.co/VwbXm52uFs pic.twitter.com/o7Aac5UtY5
On the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, the UN chief said that "we must intensify our efforts in this Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. This is vital to achieving a fair globalization, boosting economic growth and preventing conflict."
Noting that the outcome of COP26 in Glasgow was the bare minimum required to keep the 1.5-degree promise of Paris alive, Guterres said that he counts on the leadership of the G77 and China over the coming year to increase ambition and push for that ambition not only on mitigation, but on adaptation, on finance, and on loss and damage, where we still have such a long way to go.
"We need a quantum leap in unity and solidarity to make collective decisions on the global challenges we face, from the climate crisis to our suicidal war on nature, unsustainable levels of inequality, and the unchecked development of new technologies," he said.