PRESIDENT of the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, has called for equal opportunity on access to COVID-19 vaccines by all countries as soon as they are made available.
Muhammad-Bande who spoke at a virtual press conference, said that developing countries have done better than developed countries as far as the management of the COVID-19 pandemic was concerned.
He said that the pandemic had spread rapidly and extensively to most countries in the world, which led to high mortality rate in Europe and the United States, including countless upper-middle-income countries in South America and Asia.
“UN has taken the lead, pushing for equal access to vaccines once they are available. The United Nations operates on the principle of leaving no one behind, ” he said.
Muhammad-Bande added that COVID-19 was a reminder to the world that there cannot be peace when your neighbours are having no peace and you cannot be healthy when your neighbours are not healthy.
He said that the poor were the most hit in most countries, noting that even countries that were better structured in terms of financing had their poorer villages most hit.
He added that the world needed to pay more attention to the issue of disparity in technology, whether in education or in agriculture in the developing countries.
The outgoing UNGA president also spoke on the political crisis in Mali, saying that the West African sub-region had a very strong body, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that the leadership had been given to handle the development.
“The issue is that the UN Council is fully involved and the problem is also being permanently dealt with by the body that is closest to it, which is the ECOWAS leadership, which is being supported.
“The UN has been heavily involved because it is a security issue. The UN works with the AU and ECOWAS leadership,” Muhammad-Bande stated.