António Guterres: “We must step up global vaccination efforts”

The newly re-elected UN Secretary-General reiterated the need for a global vaccination plan for COVID-19, in a speech at the European Parliament on Thursday.

In his second speech in Parliament as United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres said that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed utterly inadequate health systems, huge gaps in social protection and major inequalities within and between countries.

“While some countries are slowly starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the virus remains a threatening reality in many places around the world, and therefore to us all”, he pointed out, calling for global vaccination efforts to be stepped up, in particular when it comes to Africa.

He also reiterated the need for a global vaccination strategy and for vaccine producing countries to come together in an emergency task force, supported by the World Health Organisation, the Gavi Vaccine Alliance and international financial institutions, to mobilise pharmaceutical companies and key industrial actors.

Additionally, he addressed other issues related to development, social and economic imbalances and inequalities around the world, the climate crisis and how to counter it, lawlessness in cyber space, multilateralism, and more.

You can watch the full speech again here.