UN, Non-Aligned Movement, call for greater equity in COVID-19 vaccines and climate change response – The World Peace Organization
At a meeting in Belgrade, members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the United Nations (UN) called on developed countries to do their part in global efforts to fight COVID-19 and climate change . Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo spoke at length about the unfairness the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent vaccine rollout revealed, saying that much of the global South “is under the benevolence of powerful countries that give their hoarding “. [vaccine] refueling at their own pace. This imbalance, according to Akufo-Addo, is unacceptable, and the world “must not miss the opportunity to take far-reaching decisions for a more equitable and balanced world, based on the principle of the equality of sovereign states”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who joined the remote conference, pleaded with governments in developed countries to provide more to help developing countries contain COVID-19 as well as prepare and fight climate change. Guterres said that “fifty percent of all climate finance provided by developed countries and multilateral development banks should go to adaptation, to resilience.” Last month, Guterres called the global vaccine inequity “obscenity” as developing countries discuss booster shots, while “more than 90% of Africans [are] are still waiting for their first dose, ”urging developed countries to increase vaccine production and distribution. Also this week, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink in an opinion piece for the New York Times called on both the private sector and governments in developed countries to invest more effectively in the transition of Southern economies to achieve global emissions targets, such as climate change “will not respect national borders” and that “without global action every nation will bear enormous costs due to global warming”.
The current inequality of vaccines is a crisis that tests the world’s commitment to achieving global goals, a commitment that will only become more relevant as our species grapples with the greater effects of climate change. In September, the World Health Organization (WHO) established a plan to immunize 40% of each country’s population by the end of this year and 70% by mid-2022. But of the 56 countries behind on the strategy defined to achieve this goal, the vast majority were in the Middle East and Africa, according to the WHO. Eradicating COVID-19 requires global herd immunity, not just in developed countries. And again, if the world fails to unite against this crisis, it bodes very badly for how we will tackle the greatest threat of climate change.
As Modern Diplomacy’s Kester Kenn Klomegah describes, “The non-alignment movement is an international organization of member states that oppose participation in military-political blocs and promote the peaceful coexistence of peoples”. Declared in 1961 in Belgrade, then the capital of the defunct Yugoslavia and seat of this year’s Assembly, the NAM worked to find common ground between the nuclear alliances charged with the United States and the Soviet Union. . Since the end of the Cold War, NAM has dedicated itself to “developing multilateral ties and connections as well as unity among the developing countries of the world, especially those in the Global South,” Klomegah said.
At a conference with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on October 14ePresident Biden pledged to send 17 million more vaccines to the African Union, in addition to the 50 million already sent, and assured the African leader “we are continuing our common fight against COVID”. Although at the end of September, the WHO said it needed more than 500 million vaccines to reach its 40% target in Africa by the end of the year, this latest pledge follows a greater pressure from the Biden administration to increase US vaccine donations around the world. Unfortunately, Biden’s vaccine targets are seen by some health officials, namely Secretary-General Guterres, to be lower than what the global recovery requires. But this week’s pledge will hopefully be indicative of a more inclusive and comprehensive global immunization strategy that takes into account voices like that of NAM. In a world still as divided and self-centered as it was in 1961, the advocacy of the MNA, with its 120 member states, is and will continue to be an imperative means for the voices of the countries of the South to be heard on the stage. global. .