Foreign Minister Dominic Raab is calling for a UN resolution for a worldwide ceasefire so that people living in war zones can get the COVID vaccine.
Raab, who chairs the UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, will urge world leaders to agree on a negotiated vaccine ceasefire resolution.
The Foreign Minister believes that more than 160 million people, including Yemen, Somalia, and Ethiopia, have a “moral obligation to act” to prevent being excluded from the vaccine due to insecurity and conflict.
Image: Foreign Minister Dominique Rab chairs the UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday.
Raab will warn that the new coronavirus strain could cause more infections around the world if allowed COVID-19 to spread in areas without a vaccine program.
The Interim Armistice Plan allows charities and health care workers to safely provide jabs to people and refugees living in conflict areas.
The Foreign Minister will also urge countries to support equitable access to vaccines so that the most vulnerable people are protected from the virus.
He will highlight how barriers such as vaccine storage, delayed regulatory approvals and complex supply chain management can hinder the launch of the COVID JAB in some countries.
Ahead of the Wednesday meeting, Raab said, “Global vaccination is essential to defeat the coronavirus.
“This is why the UK is calling for a vaccination truce and calling for a larger global team effort to provide equal access to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine can be delivered to people living in conflict areas.
“We have a moral duty to act and a strategic need to come together to defeat this virus.”
In the past, truces have been used to immunize vulnerable communities.
In 2001, a two-day cessation of fighting in Afghanistan gave 35,000 medical staff and volunteers the opportunity to vaccinate 5.7 million children under the age of five.
Yemen’s’war crimes’ investigation
Sam Nadel, Head of Policy and Advocacy at Oxfam, described the COVID vaccination ceasefire request as a “welcome step.”
“With no progress toward peace, millions of people are suffering from the effects of the war and the global COVID-19 pandemic, limiting humanitarian access to extremely vulnerable communities,” he said.
“However, without a significant increase in vaccine production, countries in conflict will not be able to provide sufficient amounts of COVID-19 vaccine to everyone who needs it.
“The UK government should cut off supply problems by arguing that vaccine science and know-how are no longer treated as private property of a handful of pharmaceutical companies and can be shared with qualified manufacturers around the world to urgently expand production.”
The UK has pledged up to £1.3 billion in foreign aid in the fight against the coronavirus, including £822 million for the development and distribution of vaccines, treatments and tests.
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