ECOSOC chief Munir Akram calls for boosting vaccine production in efforts to defeat coronavirus pandemic

Pakistan urges additional non-permanent seats in UNSC to ensure regional representation

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 16 (APP): The President of UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Pakistani Ambassador Munir Akram, Friday called for ramping up production of vaccines against coronavirus in order to defeat the deadly pandemic that has caused a human, economic and social crisis.

“Vaccines offer our best hope in addressing this pandemic and overcoming it,” he said in his opening statement at ECOSOC’s special ministerial meeting on ‘A vaccine for all’.

This event is being held to take stock of the endeavors to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and to try to identify concrete actions into address gaps.

“Covid-19 is the most severe health and economic crisis, world has faced in the century,” the ECOSOC chief said.

“We have all expressed solidarity, unity in the face of this pandemic,” the ECOSOC chief said, adding, “We need to match this expression of solidarity with actions.”

Access to vaccines reflect and inherent inequality in the world, Ambassador Akram said, noting that some have vaccinated, close to 40% of the population.

But Asia, Africa, and Latin America, he said, are far behind with some having vaccinated, only to 1-3% of their populations, and some none at all.

“In addition to being a moral imperative, universal coverage by the vaccines is the only realistic option to ending the pandemic.”

In this regard, efforts were needed to address the issues of intellectual property and flexibilities, the funding gap, and especially the funding gap of the Act accelerator and the COVAX facility.

“We need to find ways to support the weak health systems and infrastructure of the developing countries,” Ambassador Akram said, adding, “We need to remove obstacles such as export restrictions and vaccine nationalism.”

He hoped that their efforts today would lead to some conclusions and actions.

A presidential statement is expected to be issued at the end of the meeting in which ministers and experts from around the world are participating.

APP Services