Soldeu, Andorra, Apr 21 (EFE).- The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday said he was “very concerned” that developing nations had yet to receive deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines.
The former Portuguese prime minister made his remarks during the Ibero-American Summit currently taking place in Andorra, where the response to the global Covid-19 pandemic sits at the top of the agenda for the gathered heads of state and government.
The Summit was due to take place in November last year but was moved due to the pandemic.
Andorra proposed a reduced format, with only four other delegations attending in person — Spain and Portugal, due to their geographical proximity, as well as Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, the previous and upcoming hosts of the meeting.
Guterres warned against “dangerous vaccine nationalism” and said that if it continued, the vaccine rollout in developing countries would take years and hinder the progress on a global scale.
He also highlighted the impact of the pandemic on Latin America and the Caribbean, saying that the regions accounted for 25% of the world’s Covid-19 related deaths and that GDP had contracted 7.4%, the biggest drop since 1821.
Guterres added that the Ibero-American Summit played a valuable role in maintaining dialogue between the 22 member states in “a moment of great polarization.”
The leaders of 16 of the 22 countries in attendance will address the Summit while others will be represented by vice-presidents or foreign ministers.
The UN secretary general’s words were mirrored in a letter sent to the Summit by Pope Francis, who called on the delegates to ensure an “equitable” distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine. EFE