UN calls for global effort to develop affordable vaccines

The UN chief said the pandemic must be treated as global public goods available and affordable for all

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2019 file photo, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends the UNHCR - Global Refugee Forum at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. When financial markets collapsed and the world faced its last great crisis in 2008, major powers worked together to restore the global economy, but the COVID-19 pandemic has been striking for the opposite response. The financial crisis gave birth to the leaders’ summit of the Group of 20, the world’s richest countries responsible for 80% of the global economy. But when Guterres proposed ahead of their summit in late March that G-20 leaders adopt a “wartime” plan and cooperate on the global response to suppress the virus, there was no response (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File)
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United Nations leaders called on Monday for a global effort to develop and distribute to all vaccines at affordable prices vaccines, as well as treatments and testing kits against Covid-19.
"These new tools will help us to fully control the pandemic and must be treated as global public goods available and affordable for all," the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres said at the start of a global pledging conference, which aims to raise at least US$8 billion for the fight against the coronavirus.

The head of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the same event: “The ultimate measure of success will not be how fast we can develop tools. It will be how equally we can distribute them. None of us can accept a world in which some people are protected while others remain exposed".

Mr Guterres told reporters in a video conference last week that the UN's "voice has been clear, calling for solidarity, unity and hope”.

“We mourn the lives lost – more than 200,000 ... We despair that many more will follow, particularly in places least able to cope," he said.

He also again called for a global ceasefire appeal in March to face together the common enemy of Covid-19.