Why did Venezuela propose to the UN to declare the vaccine against covid-19 as a ‘universal public good’?
The Venezuelan government proposed, last week, to declare the COVID-19 vaccine as a «universal public good.» The reason, to democratize to the maximum degree the access of people to the antigen that is currently monopolized by the great economic powers.
In this regard, the Foreign Minister of Venezuela, Jorge Arreaza, was the one who proposed last Friday, to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (Ecosoc), that the vaccine against covid-19 be declared a «universal public good».
«The vaccine must be a universal public good, under affordable, equitable and transparent production and distribution processes», said the representative of the Venezuelan government during the Special Meeting of the Ecosoc, «A vaccine for all», held by videoconference.
Arreaza considered that allowing «vaccines to be a commodity, is anti-human» and «criminal», for which he encouraged UN member states to give a coordinated response so that the anti covid drugs are «the spearhead in the global effort so as to beat the pandemic».
In that sense, he expressed Venezuela’s concern about «the grotesque imbalance in the distribution of vaccines worldwide», which occurs despite the global health crisis, and supported the creation of the Global Access Fund for Vaccines (Covax) , because it makes the immunization process more equitable.
Arreaza stressed that Venezuela is committed to the fight against the pandemic, «contributing with the United Nations and its member states» to «encourage cooperation» and move towards the manufacture and mass distribution of drugs, so that «a public good such as vaccines» can reach each person worldwide.
Venezuela denounces the «negligence of the Brazilian government»
The diplomat also took advantage of the forum to denounce «the negligence of the Brazilian government» in the fight against the pandemic, a situation that has caused consequences in Venezuela such as the rebound in cases of patients with coronavirus infected by the Brazilian variants P1 and P2, considered as more virulent and deadly.
For Arreaza, the «irresponsibility of some states» in addressing health measures to contain covid-19, «has put at risk global efforts to mitigate and immunize against this dangerous virus».
The representative of the Venezuelan government also reiterated that the imposition of «illegal unilateral coercive measures» by the US undermines the efforts, made by Venezuela, to confront the pandemic and «hinders access» to necessary medicines, supplies and vaccines.
«If our resources were not blocked in the international banking system, thanks to the US sanctions, we would already have all the necessary vaccines and supplies», denounced Arreaza, who stressed that despite the situation, they have been able to coordinate the payment of more than 50% of the Covax mechanism.
In his intervention, Arreaza thanked the governments of Cuba, Russia and China for the solidarity and cooperation they have maintained with Venezuela, since they have been key to guaranteeing the supply of vaccines and medical supplies. He also recognized the efforts of the UN and the leadership of the WHO to address the emergency and support developing countries.