United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said on February 17, 2021 that the world "urgently needs a global vaccination plan" to stop wealthy countries leaving poorer nations behind in the coronavirus fightback, while the US climbed back aboard at the World Health Organization bringing $200 million in dues. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

International news

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Wednesday (local time) slammed the "wildly uneven and unfair" distribution of coronavirus vaccines and said that only 10 countries have administered 75 per cent of all vaccinations and demanding a global effort to get all people in every nation inoculated as soon as possible.

According to a report by Al Jazeera, Guterres, while addressing a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council, said 130 countries have not received a single dose of vaccine.
"At this critical moment, vaccine equity is the biggest moral test before the global community," he said.

The UN chief called for an urgent 'Global Vaccination Plan' to bring together those with the power to ensure fair vaccine distribution - scientists, vaccine producers and those who can fund the effort - to ensure all people in every nation get inoculated as soon as possible, Al Jazeera reported. He urged UN member states to support the COVAX Facility, a framework run by the World Health Organization and other bodies to ensure fair distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.

He also called for the creation of a global vaccination plan to ensure equal distribution of vaccines worldwide, urging the leading economic members of G20 to establish an emergency task force to bring together "the pharmaceutical companies and key industry and logistics actors".

"Progress on COVID-19 vaccinations has been wildly uneven and unfair. The world urgently needs a global vaccination plan to bring together all those with the required power, scientific expertise and production and financial capacities," Guterres said in a UN Security Council meeting. "I believe the G20 is well placed to establish an emergency task force to prepare such a global vaccination plan and coordinate its implementation and financing."

Earlier on Wednesday, US State Department Secretary Antony Blinken at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) had emphasised the need to expand access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. He has pledged payment of over USD 200 million to the WHO by the end of February.

He also urged the countries to not allow "usage of the vaccine as an excuse to violate human rights or fundamental freedoms".

"To better understand this pandemic and prepare for the next one, all countries must make available all data from the earliest days of any outbreak. And going forward, all countries should participate in a transparent and robust process for preventing and responding to health emergencies, so the world learns as much as possible as soon as possible. Transparency, information sharing, access for international experts - these must be the hallmarks of our common approach to what is truly a global challenge," he added.

According to the Johns Hopkins University data, 109,901,090 COVID-19 cases and 2,430,096 deaths have been reported globally.

Source: ANI