The United Nations Secretary-General yesterday deplored the heavy toll paid by the world population to the coronavirus pandemic, stressing that two million people have lost their lives
“We have passed a painful milestone: two million lives lost in the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic”, declared the Secretary-General of the United Nations in a video message. “Behind this pharaminous number, there are names and faces: the smile which is only a memory, the seat forever empty during meals, the room which resonates with the silence of a loved one”, added António Guterres.
The UN boss regretted the worsening of the deadly effects of the pandemic, for lack of concerted action at the global level. It is time, according to him, for the international community to show more solidarity, to honor the memory of these two million souls. Recalling that safe and effective vaccines against Covid-19 are available, António Guterres highlighted the precious help provided by the United Nations to countries in order to carry out the largest vaccination campaign in history. “We are committed to ensuring that vaccines are considered global public goods: vaccines for the people,” said the secretary general.
“We must therefore guarantee full financing of the device to accelerate access to tools to fight Covid-19 (Accelerator Act) and its Covax mechanism, the objective of which is to make the vaccine available and affordable for all “, He argued. According to him, the major economies of the planet have a special responsibility in this regard. However, it is nevertheless clear that there is today a “vaccine gap”.
Unlike high-income countries, the poorest countries are deprived of access to vaccines. Such a situation constitutes a success for science but represents a failure for solidarity. Especially since some countries are signing side agreements, even procuring vaccines beyond their needs.
“Vaccinationalism” is doomed to failure.
“Governments have a responsibility to protect their populations, but ‘vaccinationalism’ is doomed to fail and will only delay global recovery,” warned António Guterres. “We will not come to the end of Covid-19 if each country acts on its side,” he said.
Therefore, manufacturers must redouble their efforts and collaborate with the Covax mechanism and countries around the world to ensure sufficient supply and fair distribution. It is also important that countries commit now to share excess vaccine doses. This will make it easier, according to the UN Sg, to urgently vaccinate all health personnel around the world and prevent a collapse of health systems. Priority must also be given, he said, to other people on the front line: humanitarian workers and high-risk populations.
According to António Guterres, science continues to advance and to bring new hope, but we must “not forget the simple and effective actions that we can all adopt to protect ourselves and others: wear a mask, respect physical distancing and avoiding crowds ”. “There is only one way we can beat the virus: by being united,” the secretary general said. “Global solidarity will save lives, protect populations and make it possible to defeat this formidable virus”, he concluded.