Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has underscored the importance of peace and ceasefire in war-torn regions of the world in the global response to the dreaded Covid-19 onslaught on health and economies.
Distribution of medical supplies and, particularly, delivery and administering of vaccines to populations around the world is of tremendous importance in achieving ‘herd immunity’ as a practical and tactical measure and it is in this context that peace is paramount.
The Prime Minister highlighted the issue in his address to the United Nations on Wednesday – an address under the theme: ‘Ensuring Equitable Access for COVID-19 Vaccines in Contexts Affected by Conflict and Instability.’
“A ceasefire will also ensure that vaccines can be distributed safely to those made most vulnerable by conflict, including internally displaced persons and refugees. Where mandates and capabilities allow, Peacekeeping Operations could be utilised to assist with the transportation and distribution of vaccines, including providing protection to those designated personnel who administer vaccines,” Prime Minister Gonsalves said in his address on Wednesday 17th February, 2021.
The Prime Minister said that amid these difficult times, the Security Council must continue working in unison with other organs of the United Nations to address systematically the various dimensions of the pandemic. He said his country’s delegation “remains fully supportive of all efforts to promote a global ceasefire to armed conflicts everywhere.”
“This ceasefire would afford conflict-affected countries the time and space to advance peace 4 processes; and would facilitate the sustained delivery of life-saving humanitarian, developmental and capacity-building assistance,” he said.
Prime Minister Gonsalves said that as the world approach the first anniversary since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, all the nations “must work together urgently and intently, to build back better.” Dr Gonsalves said equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines must form part of any serious effort to recover sustainably from the pandemic.
“Let us be reminded of our common promise to humanity, under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, of leaving no one behind. No one will be safe until everyone is safe. And immunity can only be achieved when it is collectively composed,” Prime Minister Gonsalves said.