By Vafa Ismayilova
President Ilham Aliyev has said that Azerbaijan is still concerned about the unequal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the world, Azertag has reported.
He made the remarks in a video address presented at the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, on the initiative of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on the occasion of World Health Day.
“This year’s World Health Day is dedicated to 'building a fairer and healthier world' and the question of equal and fair distribution of vaccines is of paramount importance for this cause. Yet we all are deeply concerned by the unequal and unfair distribution of vaccines among developing and developed countries. Some countries hoard several times more vaccines compared to their actual needs. It’s clear that in such circumstances, other countries will face vaccine shortages,” the president said.
Aliyev added that supporting fairness in vaccine distribution Azerbaijan put forward a draft resolution “Ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access for all countries to vaccines in response to the coronavirus disease pandemic” at the UN Human Rights Council, which was adopted by consensus on March 23, 2021.
He stressed that only through joint efforts the world could get back to normal life.
“Azerbaijan was also among the first countries to join and support COVAX initiative. We and the whole international community expect this initiative to become a model of cooperation and solidarity in response to the pandemic. Only together we will overcome the pandemic and will return to normal life,” the head of state added.
Aliyev added that Azerbaijan was among the first countries to mobilize global efforts against COVID-19 pandemic.
“We initiated the Summit of the Turkic Council in April 2020, the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in May 2020 and the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the level of the heads of state and government in December 2020. Honouring its international responsibility, Azerbaijan has made voluntary contributions to the World Health Organization in the amount of 10 million US dollars. We have also provided direct humanitarian and financial assistance to more than 30 countries in their fight with the coronavirus,” the president said.
In turns, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, thanked Aliyev, welcoming Azerbaijan’s “leadership at the UN Human Rights Council on ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access to vaccines”.
“I agree with your opinion that we should do more in order to ensure fair distribution of vaccines,” he said.
Azerbaijan confirmed its first COVID-19 case on February 28, 2020. The country introduced a special quarantine regime on March 25 and took a number of measures to fight COVID-19 in the country. Moreover, the government allocated $1.1bn from the 2020 budget to fight the coronavirus infection.
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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