Rich countries have to offer vaccinations worldwide: Ex-UN officials

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“We also need some quick wins that can alleviate people’s fears,” said Maria Espinosa.

New York:

The rich countries of the world must pledge to “do whatever it takes” to vaccinate the entire planet against COVID-19, including relaxing intellectual property rules to allow vaccines to be made in developing countries, so the former President of the United Nations General Assembly.

President of the 73rd session of the General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, in a comment titled “We need courageous global leadership to rebuild better”, stressed that serious reforms are needed to repair the multilateral system and better reconstruction Out of the Pandemic and Reaching Out of the Pandemic Face greater challenges.

She said that “international cooperation is an ongoing battle against short-term interests and narrow distributional claims. Serious reforms are needed to fix the multilateral system” that President Franklin Roosevelt helped build 75 years ago.

“We also need some quick wins that can allay people’s fears of a global pandemic and restore the confidence the system needs to tackle even bigger challenges,” said Espinosa, former Foreign Minister and President of Espinosa Defense Ecuador. said in the opinion.

A decade after the 2009 financial crisis, Ms. Espinosa said that a major climate catastrophe is looming amid a global health pandemic and economic divisions within and between countries have widened.

“In response to the COVID-19 shock, the conversation turned to better building. But as we prepare for the climate summit in Glasgow later this year, did the international community learn the lessons of 2009?” She asked.

The Ecuadorian scholar, diplomat and politician noted that if the pandemic is viewed as a “test run of our ability” to overcome differences and work together on global challenges, there is clearly much to be done.

Ms. Espinosa listed some “quick wins” that are available that would put the world on the right track.

“First, rich countries must commit to doing everything possible to vaccinate the entire planet, including relaxing the intellectual property rules at the WTO (World Trade Organization) to allow the vaccines to be made in developing countries,” she said.

In addition, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings in April should approve a large allocation of special drawing rights – over $ 1 trillion – with details worked out in the summer ready for launch in October, she said.

Finally, she stressed that creditor countries should allow developing countries to transfer debt service payments to their health budgets for the duration of the pandemic and offer a plan to extend debt relief to countries in dire economic straits.

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“Similar measures have been implemented in the past. And if they were implemented in time for the opening of the climate change conference in Glasgow, it would give the feeling of solidarity that the negotiators in Copenhagen so sadly alluded to. The world simply does not have the luxury of getting the wrong idea again “she said, referring to the 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen, which was” torpedoed “by diplomatic disputes.

Great Britain will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November. It will bring the parties together to accelerate action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

While “centrifugal forces” have been on the rise for the past decade, Ms. Espinosa said there are signs of change.

Ms Espinosa, only the fourth President of the General Assembly in its 73-year history, said in recent months that the European Union had proposed a Green Deal and recognized the importance of a common funding strategy. China has promised to reach net zero emissions before 2060 and the new Biden government has started a series of executive orders that will put the fight against climate change high on their agenda while immediately rejoining the Paris Agreement, she said.

“These are all important initiatives, but they do not speak to the immediate fears of the vast majority of the world‘s population that the pandemic has increased poverty, sparked a massive employment crisis and increased inequalities in all its forms, including a severe setback Women’s rights, “she said.

“So far, multilateral efforts to mitigate these adverse effects of the pandemic do not suggest that international cooperation is up to the task,” said Espinosa, Ecuador’s first ambassador to the United Nations in New York and Geneva.

She said vaccines are a clear case of short-term thinking that is still on the rise.

“The advanced countries have cornered supply through advanced purchase agreements, while the timely and at-scale procurement of vaccines in developing countries has been treated as a matter of charity rather than global politics,” she said, adding that the damage that results from it of overburdened health systems in the global south will be “devastating”, but the prolongation of the pandemic everywhere will have ramifications everywhere.

Ms. Espinosa stressed that the “unsatisfactory” global health response is reflected in the “uncoordinated” global economic response, as rich countries spend an average of 20 percent of their GDP on unprecedented cash transfers in addition to corporate support and job protection programs in most developing countries Firepower to respond to in-kind contributions.

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