MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – During the ministerial meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism within the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, the Foreign Minister of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, announced that presently almost 50% of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean received COVID-19 vaccines from China and Russia.
The Alliance for Multilateralism was initiated on April 2, 2019 by the Foreign Ministers of France and Germany. On June 26, 2020, the first meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism was held in order to reinforce the multilateral health architecture and Franco-German declaration for strengthened international cooperation and solidarity on a planetary scale.
During the meeting at the 76th session, the Mexican Foreign Affairs said, “I will share with you a proposal and a concern about the geopolitical reality that we are facing in vaccination and vaccines. In Latin America and the Caribbean, almost 50% of the population has been vaccinated with vaccines from China and Russia, not with the US or European vaccines.”
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the subcontinent “are going to be enormous in terms of gender equality,” explained the foreign secretary. Ebrard added that gender inequity “occurs very quickly, and this is because access to vaccines was [provided] this way.”
If countries make decisions that create differences between the vaccines recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), “we are creating a new inequality, not only in access to vaccines, which is already significant in terms of inequality,” Ebrard warned.
Furthermore, he added that now there is another inequality because “vaccines are explicitly linked to economic recovery or personal income in our countries.”
Ebrard pointed to the reasons behind the delay in World Health Organization and European authorities to certify some vaccines and not others. He indicated that during the recent summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), held on September 18 in Mexico, the representatives “asked me to share with you this concern about the decisions of the European Union (EU) and countries around the world, in order to avoid distinctions between vaccines, because otherwise we are going to create, in the short term, another type of segmented inequality.”
60% of women received Russian and Chinese vaccines
The other concern is about gender because it seems that “maybe 60% of the women who have already been vaccinated in Latin America and the Caribbean had access to vaccines from China and Russia, not European and American vaccines,” he explained.
The Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs pointed out that decisions must be made in the coming weeks or months, or decisions that have already been made in recent weeks should be evaluated, with these facts on the table.
In the Latin American and Caribbean region, a “unique strategy” is being promoted, which is a gender recovery program, “due to the fact that we had a great impact on gender inequality, which already exists in our countries and in our companies,” said Ebrard.
Latin American and Caribbean countries are working to have this gender strategy for next year, with the limited resources available.
“We can figure out how to handle this in a global strategy, not only in one region, but perhaps also the major regions of the world can have the same approach to recovery and the gender dimension of recovery,” said Ebrard.
The Alliance for Multilateralism was launched between countries posing a world order based on respect for international law as “the only reliable guarantee for international stability and peace.” It also stresses that global challenges cannot be solved except through multilateral cooperation.
Featured image: Vial with the second component of a Russian COVID-19 vaccine. Sputnik/Vladislav Vodnev.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune