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Covid-19 vaccine should be available to all: President

Fungi Kwaramba Political Editor 

COVID-19 remedies and vaccines must be made accessible to all nations while measures to mitigate the global plague should also consider vulnerable groups, President Mnangagwa said.

In his virtual address at the 31st Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, President Mnangagwa said the world continued to grapple with the global pestilence, which has wrought havoc globally as lives and livelihoods have been lost.

The President said there was need to share scientific information.

“The exchange of information, scientific knowledge and best practices remain key. Covid-19 vaccines and remedies, as a global public good must be accessible by all. Our measures to mitigate, respond and recover from the pandemic should equally consider vulnerable groups in our societies.”

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This follows positive strides reported globally by some of the world’s biggest vaccine developers that are promising to provide doses for one-third of the world’s biggest population.

The President said the Covid-19 pandemic offers world nations a platform to strengthen multilateralism as opposed to unilateralism.

“The special session is being convened when the world is going through unprecedented and trying times. However, it is most opportune to strengthen global multilateralism as we step up the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and chart the path to future recovery.”

He added that the world should intensify international cooperation so as to contain and defeat the Covid-19 pandemic, through freeing countries like Zimbabwe from unjust and illegal sanctions that hamper economic growth and are also an infringement of human rights.

“Zimbabwe welcomes the adoption of resolutions by the General Assembly aimed at addressing various aspects of the pandemic. We particularly commend the resolution on comprehensive and coordinated responses to Covid-19 which strongly urges states to refrain from promulgating and applying unilateral economic, financial or trade measures and sanctions.

“In our case, these sanctions are detrimental to the positive strides my Government is making towards our national development aspirations. Furthermore, sanctions hamper the full enjoyment of basic human rights by our people, including the right to health and the right to development,” said the President.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has provided the world the chance to strengthen the global health security mechanisms. The World Health Organisation must be supported to address gaps in pandemic preparedness in the context of multilateralism.

“Alive to the requirements of the present ‘Decade of Action’, there is need to accelerate the alignment of our country’s plans and investments with the 2030 Agenda in a post Covid-19 world,” said the President.

Under the baneful economic sanctions, that were unilaterally imposed by the United States and other Western nations as punishment for the land reform programme, Zimbabwe has lost billions of dollars in terms of investment, while jobs have been lost with the country left to its own means as it cannot access loans from international lenders such as the World Bank.

Commendably, with the help of a few nations, Zimbabwe has managed to keep infections low.

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