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COVID-19

Vaccine nationalism must end says PM

September 26, 2021 4:06 pm

Fiji’s victory over the COVID-19 will be short-lived unless the global community can accelerate vaccination everywhere.

This was highlighted by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in his national statement at the 76th United Nations General Assembly.

He says that Fiji’s experience shows how an equitable recovery can begin and it starts by getting jabs in arms, fast.

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Bainimarama says it is appalling that wealthier countries are already considering third doses or boosters for their citizens while millions of people including frontline healthcare workers in the developing world cannot access a single dose.


Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during his national statement at the 76th United Nations General Assembly [Source: Fijian Government]

He adds globally, thousands of lives are still being lost every day to the virus.

“The majority represent our collective failure to make vaccines available to developing countries. Vaccine nationalism must end. The G7, G20, and multilateral financial institutions have failed to stop it. Only the UN can fill this void of leadership”.

The Prime Minister has joined other leaders in calling on the United Nations to convene an urgent special meeting of Leaders to agree to a time-bound, cost, and detailed plan for the full vaccination of developing countries.

Bainimarama says vaccine inequity is a symptom of a much larger injustice, one that is inherent to the international economic system.

He adds this injustice is the unequal distribution of finance or access to finance that can fuel a recovery.

“While wealthy nations have propped up their economies by printing and investing trillions at near-zero interest rates, developing nations particularly small states have had to borrow at punitive rates to simply keep our people alive, fed, and healthy”.

He adds more innovative framework is needed for development finance that recognizes the unique needs of Small Islands Developing States.

The Prime Minister says this pandemic has been a painful lesson about where unilateral action can lead and where the multilateral institutions are unwilling to go.

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[Source: Fijian Government]

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