Prime Minister Mia Mottley has called for a global summit for coordinated action on a number of areas pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She made this call Tuesday during a handover ceremony of 33,600 COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX Facility, at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
This is the country’s second batch of vaccines under the COVAX Facility, and those present for the 7:35 a.m. arrival of the plane, included Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott.
Mottley said: “If ever there was a need for the world to stand up and recognise that we need a global summit for coordinated action with respect to how we treat to the COVID pandemic, how we treat to the equitable distribution of vaccines, how we treat to the restricted movement of people and countries in a coordinated way to give the global community the best chance of putting this behind us, it is now.
“In the spring meetings that just concluded for the World Bank and the IMF, we were clear that there is going to be no serious global recovery economically, until we wrestle COVID-19 to the ground. We cannot wrestle COVID-19 to the ground unless there is vaccine equity and unless there is coordinated actions across countries and not by single countries one by one,” she argued.
The Prime Minister insisted that at the global level, there was nothing stopping leaders from hosting a global summit, other than themselves.
“If ever there was a need for political will in the post 1945 world, it is today…. And I trust and pray that there will be movement among those of us who have the responsibility to have the charge of our populations under our control as governments, for us to do the right thing and to do it together,” she stated.
Mottley noted that many expressed the view that the time for global coordination and partnership in this pandemic had passed. However, she insisted this was not her view, stressing that there was never a wrong time to do the right thing.
“The fact that globally we continue to run this race, trying to fight it and to beat it against the mutations and variants, tells us that there is still a great need for global coordination and partnership.
“We know that without this partnership we are unlikely to win the race in a hurry. Once we don’t win the race in a hurry, it means that we are going to be challenged by the mutations and the variants that come about, as we are seeing today, with the WHO only yesterday reflecting that the variant in India is a global health risk. This is from a country that has 18 per cent of the global population,” she said.
The Prime Minister said she was hopeful that the global community would rise to the challenge of the global coordination, pointing out that no country could win the battle on its own.
She thanked PAHO, the United Nations system and WHO, including Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for their contributions in helping Barbados and vulnerable countries secure vaccines.