Joint statement by H. E. Ambassador Chen Xu at the Interactive Dialogue on High Commissioner report on State response to pandemics
21 June 2021
I have the honor to speak on behalf of a group of countries. The COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to spread around the world, has had severe negative impacts on economic and social development in all countries, especially in developing countries.
The pandemic demonstrated the importance of economic, social and cultural rights, and highlighted the significance of solidarity and cooperation between countries, especially with regards to maximizing the benefit of scientific progress and its applications. Vaccines are powerful tools to address the pandemic, and thus should become a global public good. However, access, availability and affordability of vaccine has become a severe problem. We are worried by disturbing trend of vaccine nationalism and stockpiling of vaccine doses far above their population’s need. At present, of the 2.6 billion doses administered globally, only 0.3% took place in low-income countries.
We support the call of the United Nations for fair and equitable distribution of and access to COVID vaccine globally, and urge all countries to, in the spirit of solidarity and international cooperation, translate their commitment into actions and support timely access of COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries, as well as improve the accessibility, affordability and production of such vaccines and other health products in developing countries, including least developed countries, so as to save lives and end the pandemic as soon as possible. In this context, we call upon Member States and other relevant actors to redouble their vaccine production capacities while supporting developing countries to build local capacity for vaccine production, and support the call for an IPR 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.
Thank you, Madam President.