UN chief Antonio Guterres speaks during a UN Security Council high-level meeting on COVID-19 recovery focusing on vaccinations at UN headquarters in New York. AP
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sharply criticized the “wildly uneven and unfair” distribution of COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, saying 10 countries have administered 75 per cent of all vaccinations and demanding a global effort to get all people in every nation vaccinated as soon as possible.
The UN chief told a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council that 130 countries have not received a single dose of vaccine and declared that “at this critical moment, vaccine equity is the biggest moral test before the global community.”
Guterres called for an urgent Global Vaccination Plan to bring together those with the power to ensure equitable vaccine distribution — scientists, vaccine producers and those who can fund the effort.
And he called on the world’s major economic powers in the Group of 20 to establish an emergency task force to establish a plan and coordinate its implementation and financing. He said the task force should have the capacity “to mobilize the pharmaceutical companies and key industry and logistics actors.”
Guterres said Friday’s meeting of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations — the United States, Germany, Japan, Britain, France, Canada and Italy — “can create the momentum to mobilize the necessary financial resources.”