A senior Chinese diplomat has urged all countries, in the spirit of solidarity and international cooperation, to translate their commitment into actions and support timely access to COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries.
Chen Xu, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG), made the appeal during a dialogue on COVID-19 on behalf of 63 countries with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights here on Monday.
He urged for the promotion of equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, noting that as of all the 2.6 billion doses administered globally, only about 0.3 percent were in low-income countries.
“We are worried by disturbing trend of vaccine nationalism and stockpiling of vaccine doses far above their population’s need,” Chen said during the dialogue at the ongoing 47th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Chen reaffirmed China’s support for fair and equitable distribution of and access to COVID-19 vaccines globally.
He stressed the importance of improving the accessibility, affordability, and production of such vaccines and other health products in developing countries, including least developed countries, to save lives and end the pandemic as soon as possible.
Chen called on all countries and other relevant actors to redouble their vaccine production capacities, while supporting developing countries to build local capacity for vaccine production, and to support the call for an intellectual property rights waiver for COVID-19 vaccines.
“We also call upon those countries in position to do so to take an active part in international development cooperation to help developing countries realize sustainable development goals and mitigate the impact of the pandemic,” Chen said.