Wednesday 19 January 2022 - 1:53:14 am

Global parliamentary solidarity for vaccine equity in fight against COVID-19


MADRID, 30th November, 2021 (WAM) -- At the 143rd IPU Assembly in Madrid, Spain, parliamentarians from around the world have rallied around an emergency resolution to support equitable access to vaccines, particularly in the developing world.

Against the backdrop of the emergence of the omicron variant and renewed border closures, IPU Member Parliaments unanimously backed the IPU African Group’s proposal: Harnessing global parliamentary support for vaccine equity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution calls on the international community to ensure "timely, equitable and universal access to safe, affordable, quality and effective vaccines." It recognizes that "extensive COVID-19 immunization is a global public good". The resolution also underlines the importance of vaccine equity and calls for national and global access to essential vaccines according to risk and needs.

In the discussion, parliamentarians pointed to "a clear schism" between Africa and the rest of the world in the global roll-out of vaccines. According to the World Bank and the World Health Organization, under 2 per cent of people living in Africa’s low-income countries have been fully vaccinated and under 10 per cent in lower middle-income countries. In comparison, over 60 per cent of the population in advanced economies is vaccinated.

Hundreds of MPs from 117 countries, including 44 Speakers of Parliament, attended the first in-person IPU Assembly since 2019. Hosted by the Cortes Generales, the parliament of Spain, from 26 to 30 November 2021, the 143rd IPU Assembly was the fourth time Spain has hosted an IPU Assembly.

 

WAM/Tariq alfaham/Hatem Mohamed