Solidarity in Times of Profound Crisis: Calls for Vaccine Equality
If this COVID pandemic has taught us something, it is how interdependent we are: we are living through not only a humanitarian catastrophe but a human one that affects us all, and only through our collective prayers and actions of generosity, empathy and solidarity will we be able to overcome it.
The world community needs to work together and take urgent steps to help alleviate the health emergency, as the situations in India, Brazil and other countries further deteriorates.
We as a committee want to express our deep sadness and our unwavering solidarity with those who are suffering, whether they are ill themselves, or they are family members desperately trying to find a hospital bed or oxygen tanks for their loved ones to be treated.
As reported in all major newspapers, India, the second most populous country in the world, is battling a ferocious second wave of infections with the number of daily COVID cases nearly topping 350,000 and the number of daily deaths crossing the 2,600 mark.
Brazil, the sixth most populous country, is also battling a second surge that continues to decimate its population and overwhelm its hospitals. The spread of misinformation and distrust continues to cause more cases, as some refuse to wear masks and take other preventative measures.
This global public health catastrophe and its economic impact will only abate once people everywhere are vaccinated, but the world’s most powerful countries are blocking an initiative by India and South Africa at the World Trade organization requesting the temporary waiver of protected licenses and patents on vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests so that other countries can produce them locally.
This initiative was proposed last October and is now supported by 100 countries. It was presented again yesterday at the WTO negotiations yesterday, May 5th, with new urgency. Today, President Biden completely reversed the United States stance, announcing the United States will now support the waiver, given the extraordinary circumstances. This is encouraging news!
We call on the UN and other richer countries to react, not only by providing much needed funds, medical equipment, and personnel to those in need, but also by ensuring a speedy and equitable access to vaccines and vaccine production.
Finally, we are asking full members of NGO CSocD who are providing Covid-19 relief at the local, regional, or global level to please send us the web links to those efforts so that we can share them on our website. Please send them by Wednesday, May 12, by 5:00 PM EDT.
Thank you and Best wishes to all
Member Organization’s Relief Efforts:
Red Dot Foundation
Baha’i International Community
Let’s put people at the centre of development and pledge to make the eradication of poverty, full employment, and social integration the overriding objectives of development.