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India co-sponsors UN resolution on equal access to COVID-19 vaccines

India was among the 179 nations to co-sponsor the UN resolution that demands the fair, equitable and transparent access of future vaccines and medical supplies that will be developed to fight COVID-19.

Apr 22, 2020 14:14 IST
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India has decided to co-sponsor the United Nations Assembly resolution on equal access to COVID-19 vaccines. The resolution demands the fair, equitable and transparent access of future vaccines and medical supplies that will be developed to fight COVID-19.

The Mexico drafted resolution ‘International cooperation to ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19’ was adopted by 193-member UN General Assembly on April 20.

Pakistan was among the small minority of nations who did not come to sponsor UN Assembly resolution.

What the UN Assembly passed resolution states?

The resolution demands to ensure the transparent, equitable, fair, timely access and efficient distribution of preventive tools, reagents and supporting material, laboratory testing, new diagnostics, essential medical supplies, drugs and future COVID-19 vaccines to all the nations and in particular the developing countries.

Key Highlights:

•  India was among the 179 nations to co-sponsor the resolution.

•  As India has been proactively engaged in supporting the global availability of medicine and drugs, the country is also facilitating the sourcing of global supplies from agencies such as UNICEF to combat COVID-19.

•  Pakistan states its reservations regarding the resolution as it did not include the assured access of health care to people who have been deprived of their liberty especially in countries under foreign occupation.

•  The resolution which also received US support as has become the second document to be adopted by the UN on COVID-19 pandemic.

•  In April, General Assembly also unanimously adopted a resolution calling for international cooperation to defeat the pandemic which is causing disruptions to economy and societies. It was co-sponsored by 188 nations including India.

UN Assembly appreciated India’s efforts:

UN General Secretary, Antonio Guterres appreciated India for helping other countries in a fight against COVID-19 pandemic. India has been sending essential medical supplies such as anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to several nations.

Countries including the US, Seychelles, and Mauritius have received the drugs. While India is sending the drug to neighboring countries Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Nepal, Mauritius, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

Acknowledgments by the latest UN Assembly resolution:

•  The resolution acknowledges the essential role played by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the fight against COVID-19. The organisation was recently under attack by Trump administration over handling the outbreak.

•  The resolution recognized the importance of effective multilateralism and international cooperation to ensure that states have effective medical supplies and tools to combat COVID-19.

•  It also encouraged all the member states to work in partnership with the stakeholders for research and development funding for medicines and vaccines.

•  The resolution also called member states to prevent undue stockpiling required to address COVID-19.

•  The resolution requested the General Secretary to work in close collaboration with the WHO to take necessary steps that will ensure global access of medical supplies needed to face COVID-19.

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