By Emmanuel Nduka
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres on Saturday called on G20 leaders to ensure equitable and all-inclusive distribution of vaccines towards the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guterres made the call while addressing world leaders at the official opening of the G20 Summit in Rome, Italy.
He urged the leaders to show leadership to save lives, prevent further suffering, and enable a full global recovery from the pandemic.
The UN Chief also reiterated the importance of the G20 to adopt and coordinate actions to support the global vaccination strategy led by the UN World Health Organisation (WHO).
According to the WHO, the global vaccination strategy aims to get vaccines into the arms of 40 percent of people in all countries by the end of 2021, and 70 percent by the middle of next year.
The WHO launched its strategy earlier this month to help bring an end to what has become a two-track pandemic: people in poorer countries continue to be at risk, while those in richer countries with high COVID-19 vaccination rates enjoy much greater protection.
Guterres further encouraged the leaders to pursue a post-pandemic path that can simultaneously relaunch the global economy while fighting inequality, as well as restoring trust between developing and developed countries.
Mr Guterres will head to Glasgow, Scotland after wrapping up his discussions at the G20 Summit, for the UN Climate Conference (COP 26).