Only a Global Immunization Campaign Can Prevent Coronavirus Pandemic

The only way out of a worldwide pandemic, and out of this unjust and immoral scenario, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, is a universal vaccination campaign. 

The Secretary-General was speaking at a conference of Foreign Ministers from the Group of 77 (G77) and China at the United Nations headquarters in New York, where he said the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues to wreak havoc on developed and developing countries equally. 

He went on to say that the UN supports the World Health Organization’s vaccination policy, which aims to get vaccines into the hands of 40% of people in all countries by the end of 2021, and 70% by the middle of 2022. 

The global economy is predicted to increase by 5.9% in 2021, but the recovery will be uneven. This does not surprise him, when developed economies invest 28% of their GDP in recovery, middle-income countries invest 6%, and least developed countries invest only 1.8 percent. 

The International Monetary Fund estimates that total economic growth per capita in Sub-Saharan Africa will be 75% lower than the rest of the world during the next five years. 

Climate change, inequality, and the development of new technologies were among the topics addressed by the UN Secretary-General, who urged for a quantum leap in unity and solidarity to solve these global issues. 

Throughout the pandemic, the Secretary-General emphasized the value of multilateralism and the UN’s role. 

For 139 nations and territories, UN country teams have produced socioeconomic response plans. A total of nearly $3 billion was reallocated to prioritize emergency assistance, with an additional $2 billion mobilized. 

Recent reforms, according to the Secretary-General, allowed the world organization to adjust and respond fast. 

Concerning the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, the UN Secretary-General stated that the world must step up its efforts during this Decade of Action in order to achieve the sustainable development goals. This is critical for attaining more equitable globalization, improving economic growth, and avoiding conflict. 

Noting that the outcome of COP26 in Glasgow was the bare minimum required to keep the Paris 1.5-degree promise alive, Guterres expects the G77 and China to increase ambition and push for it not only on mitigation, but also on adaptation, which is a basic need for so many countries, and loss and damage as well.