The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is supporting the Caribbean Community’s call for a global summit to urgently address the issue of equitable access and distribution of vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Keith Rowley had written in January, on behalf of the Community, to the Director- General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, urging him to convene at the earliest possible opportunity a Global Summit to address urgently equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, particularly for developing countries. The Summit, Dr. Rowley proposed, would be held in the context of the Organisation’s ACT-A Facilitation Council. The call was repeated by CARICOM Heads of Government following the Intersessional Meeting held late last month.
The CELAC statement issued by Mexico as the President Pro Tempore of the group, expressed concern over the lack of delivery of vaccines to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Region. The statement said that while CELAC supported the COVAX mechanism, it called for the Caribbean to “receive the vaccines as quickly and equitably as possible.”
“We are convinced that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of maintaining a strong, united, and caring Latin American and Caribbean region, where no country is excluded from universal, fair, equitable, and timely access to medicines, vaccines, and medical supplies. Therefore, Mexico joins the call made by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to hold a Global Summit within the framework of the World Health Organization to address the urgent equitable access to said vaccines,” the statement said.