United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers a statement at the UN headquarters in New York, Jan. 6, 2020. Antonio Guterres on Monday called on parties concerned to exercise maximum restraint to stop escalation of global tensions. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers a statement at the UN headquarters in New York, Jan. 6, 2020. Antonio Guterres on Monday called on parties concerned to exercise maximum restraint to stop escalation of global tensions. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday proposed that the Group of 20 (G20) set up an emergency task force to prepare a “Global Vaccination Plan” against COVID-19.

“We have come together to create the COVAX facility, the one global tool to procure and deliver vaccines for low- and middle-income countries. COVAX requires to be fully funded. But we must do even more. Our efforts need to be comprehensive and well-coordinated everywhere,” said Guterres.

The world urgently needs a Global Vaccination Plan to bring together all those with the required power, scientific expertise as well as production and financial capacities, he told an open debate of the Security Council on “ensuring the equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in contexts affected by conflict and insecurity.” “I believe the G20 is well placed to establish an emergency task force to prepare such a Global Vaccination Plan and coordinate its implementation and financing,” said Guterres.

This task force should include all countries capable of developing vaccines or to produce them if licenses are available, together with global vaccination organizations, other relevant technical organizations and international financial institutions. The task force would have the capacity to mobilize the pharmaceutical companies and key industry and logistics actors, he said. “I am ready to galvanize the full United Nations system in support of this effort. The G7 (Group of Seven) meeting later this week can create the momentum to mobilize the necessary financial resources,” said the UN chief.

At this critical moment, vaccine equity is the biggest moral test facing the global community, he said. “We must ensure that everybody, everywhere, can be vaccinated as soon as possible.”

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