Britain circulated a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council on Friday demanding that all warring parties immediately institute a “sustained humanitarian pause” to enable people in conflict areas to be vaccinated for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The proposed resolution reiterates the council’s demand last July 1 for “a general and immediate cessation of hostilities” in major conflicts from Syria and Yemen to Central African Republic, Mali and Sudan and Somalia. The appeal was first made by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on March 23, 2020, to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
The draft “emphasizes the need for solidarity, equity, and efficacy and invites donation of vaccine doses from developed economies to low- and middle-income countries and other countries in need, including through the COVAX Facility,” an ambitious World Health Organization project to buy and deliver coronavirus vaccines for the world’s poorest people.
The British draft stresses that “equitable access to affordable Covid-19 vaccines, certified as safe and efficacious, is essential to end the pandemic.”
It would recognize “the role of extensive immunization against Covid-19 as a global public good for health in preventing, containing, and stopping transmission, in order to bring the pandemic to an end.”
The draft, follows up on British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s appeal to the 15-member Security Council on Wednesday to adopt a resolution calling for local cease-fires in conflict zones to allow the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines.
Britain says more than 160 million people are at risk of being excluded from coronavirus vaccinations because they live in countries engulfed in conflict and instability.
“Cease-fires have been used to vaccinate the most vulnerable communities in the past,” Raab said. “There’s no reason why we can’t… We have seen it in the past to deliver polio vaccines to children in Afghanistan, just to take one example.”
At Wednesday’s council meeting, Guterres sharply criticized the “wildly uneven and unfair” distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, saying 10 countries have administered 75 percent of all vaccinations and demanding a global effort to get all people in every nation vaccinated as soon as possible. SOVEREIGNPH