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Moon calls for fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccine at UN

President Moon Jae-in. (Cheong Wa Dae)
President Moon Jae-in. (Cheong Wa Dae)

President Moon Jae-in on Monday called for the fair distribution to all countries of vaccines and therapeutics against COVID-19, stressing that “solidarity and cooperation” will prevail against the virus.

Addressing the high-level meeting commemorating the 75th anniversary of the United Nations via satellite link, Moon said the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to undermine the multilateralism embodied by the UN and proposed three ideas for overcoming the crisis.

Stressing the efforts of the MIKTA countries -- Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Australia -- such as Indonesia’s role in proposing the first UN General Assembly resolution on COVID-19, Moon urged the UN to work together to fight the pandemic.

“The five countries of MIKTA share the common understanding that the key to overcoming COVID-19 is unity, solidarity and cooperation,” Moon said.

“As a cross-regional and innovative partnership, we agreed to play a bridging role between developed and developing countries, as well as among regions, and also promote multilateral cooperation.”

Saying that the MIKTA countries are committed to playing a leading role in tackling global issues, Moon said the five nations will facilitate recovery “in a way that reduces disparity, building back better and realizing an inclusive community that leaves no one behind.”

Moon then went on to call for cooperation among UN members as a whole.

“Solidarity and cooperation is a power unique to humans that a virus can never match. At the same time, it is the most potent weapon at our disposal that can defeat the coronavirus,” Moon said, going on to list his proposals.

“First, we should guarantee equitable access to vaccines and therapeutics. Through global funding, we should facilitate advance purchase of sufficient doses of vaccines for international organizations to ensure that developing countries can also share in the benefits.”

Pointing out that the International Vaccine Institute is based in Korea, Moon said his government will support efforts to distribute affordable vaccines in developing countries.

As the second and third ideas, he also stressed the need for multilateralism-based and eco-friendly approaches to overcome the current crisis, saying the pandemic has served as an opportunity to reflect on humans’ impact on the environment.

“I hope more countries will participate in the Global Green New Deal Solidarity, which seeks to address the climate crisis while creating jobs and enhance inclusiveness at the same time. I hope to see major progress be made in this regard at the P4G Summit that will be held in Korea next year,” he said.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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