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Wang Yi Attends the UNGA High-level Meeting on COVID-19 Vaccines

2022-02-26 14:37

On February 25, 2022, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) High-level Meeting on COVID-19 Vaccines via video link.

Wang Yi said, the COVID-19 pandemic has been raging for two years. Global vaccination has made remarkable progress thanks to the international community's concerted efforts, but the dark cloud of unequal vaccine distribution still lingers. This meeting is held just in time. China would like to put forward four proposals:

First, build a "safety net" for immunity. When dealing with the pandemic, we must put people and their lives front and center. As long as there is an immunity "gap", the world cannot be completely safe. The nature of vaccines as a global public good should not be changed, major countries should not shirk their due responsibilities, multilateral mechanisms should not play a less important role, and the fairness, accessibility and affordability of vaccines should not be compromised. Priority should be given to strengthening support for developing countries, especially African countries, so that COVID-19 vaccines can truly be used by people worldwide.

Second, build up anti-pandemic "arsenals". We should streamline and strengthen various COVID-19 countermeasures and use multiple technological means in a well-coordinated manner, so as to constantly add new dimensions to the international joint prevention and control. On the basis of increasing vaccination rates, we should step up research on mutated viruses and enhance cooperation in drug research and development, so as to build a multi-tiered defense line against the pandemic.

Third, improve the "governance shield" for health. Earnest efforts should be made to help developing countries strengthen capacity building in their public health systems, localize vaccine research, development and production, and help bridge the "immunization gap". We should uphold true multilateralism, improve the global health governance system, and spare no efforts to address the concerns and appeals of developing countries.

Fourth, strengthen the "anchor of stability" for development. We should strike a proper balance between pandemic response and economic and social development, take targeted measures to address both symptoms and root causes, boost the economic vitality and endogenous driving force of all countries, especially developing countries, and lose no time in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Developed countries should adopt responsible macroeconomic policies to maintain the stability and smooth flow of global industrial and supply chains.

Wang Yi said, in 2021, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Vaccine Cooperation Action Initiative, the core of which is to accelerate equitable access to vaccines in developing countries and build an "immunity barrier" at an early date. China honors its words and has delivered on its solemn commitments with concrete actions.

China is the largest contributor to equitable vaccine distribution. One in two doses of vaccine administered globally is "made in China". So far, China has supplied more than 2.1 billion doses to more than 120 countries. China is a firm practitioner in joint vaccine production. China was the first to support the exemption of intellectual property rights of vaccines, and has taken the lead in transferring technology to developing countries. So far, China has carried out joint production with 20 countries, with an annual production capacity of one billion doses. China is an active participant in multilateral cooperation on vaccines. China supports the World Health Organization in playing a central and coordinating role, and gives priority to the procurement needs of the COVAX Facility, to which China has supplied over 200 million doses of vaccines.

Wang Yi said, China is ready to work with all other parties to strengthen cooperation on vaccines, build a "Great Wall of immunization", make due contributions to defeating the COVID-19 pandemic at an early date, and jointly build a global community of health for all.

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