By Vafa Ismayilova
President Ilham Aliyev and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus have discussed steps taken by Azerbaijan to fight against the coronavirus pandemic, its contribution to international efforts in this sphere and new vaccines to be supplied to the country, Azertag has reported.
The meeting, which took place at the WHO director-general’s initiative in a video conference format, was also attended by WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge and other senior officials of the organization.
At the meeting, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised Azerbaijan's assistance to the organization in all areas, including finance, noting that the country's political and moral support of the World Health Organization was very valuable.
Aliyev spoke about the work Azerbaijan had done to combat the pandemic, noting the country's contribution to international cooperation in this area. He said that a special session of the UN General Assembly dedicated to the fight against coronavirus and an extraordinary summit of the Turkic Council had been held at the initiative of Azerbaijan.
The president added that on 21 March, the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council had adopted a resolution on “Ensuring equal, affordable, timely and universal access to vaccines against COVID-19”, initiated by Azerbaijan as the country chairing the Non-Aligned Movement.
Touching upon the importance of combating the pandemic in the world, the head of state said he had made public statements on vaccination, saying that some countries had ordered more vaccines than required, while some were facing serious problems. President Aliyev stressed that discrimination in the distribution of vaccines was disappointing.
Ghebreyesus said that 84,000 AstraZeneca vaccines would be sent to Azerbaijan as soon as possible within the COVAX initiative. Aliyev expressed his gratitude for that.
It should be noted that members of Azerbaijani society earlier expressed concern over the failure of the COVAX platform to provide Azerbaijan with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as part of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Representatives of different layers of local society called on the (WHO) not to turn a blind eye to violations of the principle of equity in vaccine distribution.
COVAX platform is a mechanism designed to accelerate the search for effective vaccines for all countries and ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world, Azerbaijan was one of the first 50 countries to join and support the COVAX platform last year.
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