World must ramp up vaccine production, ensure rapid distribution: PM

World must ramp up vaccine production, ensure rapid distribution: PM

Islamabad (Web Desk): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday called for universal and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccine to defeat the pandemic and revive global trade, investment and growth.

Addressing the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development 2021, the premier urged the world must ramp up vaccine production, including in the developing countries, and ensure its rapid distribution.

The prime minister said adequate finance must be mobilized to enable the developing countries to meet the triple challenge of COVID recovery, SDG implementation and realization of environmental goals, the Radio Pakistan reported.

He said the high-income countries have been able to inject 17 trillion dollars to stimulate their economies, while the developing countries are in dire need of at least 4.3 trillion dollars to recover from the crises and implement the SDGs.

He said they have so far, unfortunately, secured access to less than 5 percent of this amount.

Imran Khan said the high-income countries voluntarily re-allocate a part of their unutilized International Monetary Fund (IMF) quotas, and this should be approved urgently.

“Restructuring of high-cost debt is another essential instrument to provide fiscal space and development finance for the affected developing countries,” the PM said, adding that commitments made to provide concessional and grant finance to developing countries must be fulfilled.

Imran Khan said it is vital to fulfill the commitment made by developed countries to provide $100 billion per year in climate finance.

“Pakistan's landmark projects such as our "Recharge" initiative and 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project can benefit greatly from such support” the premier said.

He urged the United Nations (UN) to initiate a multi-stakeholder dialogue to mobilize $1 trillion investment required annually in sustainable infrastructure.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the international trade regime must provide all developing countries with equitable and preferential access to global markets and the protectionist measures erected by some major economies in violation of World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements must be rescinded.