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PM advocates equal vaccine access for all

Speaking of Pakistan’s efforts to fight COVID-19, the prime minister said that the country has been “more fortunate than other countries”

Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday urged the countries currently producing vaccines for coronavirus to ramp up production and ensure rapid distribution to all, including developing countries.

“While the support offered by some major nations is commendable, more needs to be done,” the prime minister said, while addressing the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2021.

He earlier remarked that the forum is being held “at a critical moment in human history”.

“The world is facing an unprecedented triple challenge: the COVID-19 pandemic; the reversal of economic progress; and the existential threat posed by climate change,” he said.

He commended the “excellent role” played by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and “the entire UN system’s relief and recovery efforts in the wake of the pandemic”.

Speaking of Pakistan’s efforts to fight COVID-19, the prime minister said that the country has been “more fortunate than other countries”.

“Through our policies of ‘smart lockdowns’ and focus on the disadvantaged, we have been able to somehow contain the virus. We managed to save precious lives and at the same time livelihoods,” he said.

PM Imran Khan appreciated the international recognition of Pakistan’s pandemic containment strategy and the Ehsaas social protection programme.

“We are now making all possible efforts to accelerate our vaccination campaign,” he said.

The premier said that unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic had “revealed and accentuated the endemic inequalities which exist within and amongst nations”.

“The global economy will not recover fully until all countries — rich and poor — are enabled to accelerate and expand investment for achieving the SDGs (sustainable development goals) and climate goals,” he continued.

The premier said that he believes the following actions, at the national and international level, are “indispensable to respond effectively to the triple crisis”.

PM Imran Khan said that it is “essential” that universal and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines be ensured “to defeat the virus and to revive global trade, investment and growth”. “The world must ramp up vaccine production, including in the developing countries, and ensure its rapid distribution. While the support offered by some major nations is commendable, more needs to be done,” he stressed.






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