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Small States risk being shackled: AG

April 11, 2021 4:58 pm
[Source: Fijian Government]

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the key short-term priority for small states now is appropriate access to concessional finance.

Virtually chairing the Small States Forum while being in quarantine, Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted that this will ensure that our economies are well prepared to return to normal and that we can adequately address any scarring that the COVID crisis might leave.

He adds access to vaccines and practical options for the Small States to carry out successful vaccination programs will of course be the most important keys to reopening the economies.

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He adds fortunately, vaccines are now being produced and administered around the world.

Unfortunately, equity is still missing from the equation, he added.

The AG says at the moment, valuable COVID-19 vaccines and access to finance are being offered on a bilateral basis as tools of post-COVID diplomacy.

That means Small States risk being shackled to the development agendas of other nations instead of steering our own.

He stressed that at every turn of this pandemic, solidarity has fallen short.

Sayed-Khaiyum says securing immunization equality may be our last, great chance to bridge the growing divide between the developed and developing world, countries wealthy and poor, and large and small.

In recognition of vaccines as a global public good, he urged stronger support be given to COVAX to see the Small States protected alongside the rest of the world.

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