PM slams ‘vaccine nationalism’ at ECOSOC forum

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Urges int’l community to ensure Covid-19 vaccine available to everyone, everywhere


Staff Reporter
Islamabad

While slamming the “vaccine nationalism” and export restrictions by some countries, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday urged the international community to ensure that the Covid-19 vaccine is available to “everyone, everywhere, and as soon as possible”.

He expressed these views while delivering the opening statement at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development (FfD), which is being held under Pakistan’s presidency from April 12-15.

The objective of the forum is to mobilise adequate financial support to enable the developing countries to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the climate objectives.

The special high-level segment of the ECOSOC forum is being held in response to a decision of the UN
General Assembly.

“The international community must ensure that the vaccine is available to everyone, everywhere, and as soon as possible. If not, the virus will roam around and come back.

Production of the vaccine must be ramped up. Patent and technology-transfer
restrictions should be waived to enable this,” the premier said.

He deplored the “vaccine nationalism”, export restrictions on it as well as the use of the vaccine to advance national foreign policy objectives.

The premier said that Pakistan successfully contained the first two waves of the virus through a policy of “smart lockdowns”.

“We implemented an 8 billion dollar relief package to support the poor and vulnerable, and to keep our economy afloat at the
same time.”

He said that the forum is an important opportunity to adopt decisions on ways to mobilise the money needed by developing countries to recover from the Covid-induced recession and restore them on the path to achieving the Sustainable Development
Goals by 2030.