The global distribution of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines has been extremely unequal, with terrible consequences for the rights to health and to life, especially in the world’s poorest countries.
WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in June that of 1.8 billion vaccines administered around the world, only 0.4% had been in low-income countries. Furthermore, the surge of infections in a number of these countries has underlined the importance of equitable vaccine access and distribution, including in preventing the emergence of future SARS CoV-2 variants of concern.
This side event will consider the devastating human rights consequences of COVID-19 and the need for equitable distribution of life-saving vaccines. Based on an understanding that ‘no one is safe until we are all safe,’ the event will then consider the human rights imperatives behind calls for a greater shift from ‘vaccine nationalism’ to ‘vaccine multilateralism’ - through higher production, by removing exports barriers, by sharing already-ordered vaccines, and by upscaling support to the COVAX facility. Only through such rights-based steps can UN member States fight the pandemic quickly and effectively – protecting human lives and rights.
Moderated panel debate
Moderator: Mr Marc LIMON, Executive Director, Universal Rights Group
H.E. Ms Michelle BACHELET, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Video message from UNICEF Ambassadors
Question and answer session with:
H.E. Mr Umej Singh BHATIA, Permanent Representative of Singapore
H.E. Mr CHEN Xu, Permanent Representative of China
H.E. Mr Thomas WAGNER, Deputy Permanent Observer of the European Union
Dr Mariȃngela SIMÃO, Assistant Director-General, World Health Organisation
Mr Rajat KHOSLA, Senior Director for Research, Advocacy and Policy, Amnesty International