Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed on the right of developing nations to have access to a coronavirus vaccine, weeks after US drug companies reported that their COVID-19 vaccines showed effectiveness.
“Eliminating the pandemic requires not only the production of the vaccine, but also ensuring the right to access it,” said Shoukry in a recorded speech, on Friday at the 31st Special Session of the General Assembly in response to COVID-19.
Shoukry called for consolidating international efforts to support the economies of developing nations amid the pandemic, including through debt relief.
The Egyptian minister also called on the international community to support African efforts in the face of the pandemic, referring to Egypt’s efforts in providing a number of African countries with medical equipment and supplies.
“Although the repercussions of this pandemic affect all countries and people, it is concerning that its more serious effects severely threaten the more fragile economies and the poorer countries, especially countries in the African continent,” added Shoukry.
The foreign minister praised efforts made by medical staff in Egypt and worldwide amid the pandemic, especially women, who he said represent the largest portion of the workforce in the medical field.
He spoke about Egypt’s efforts in facing the implications of the pandemic, saying that the country’s plan has focused on ensuring safety of citizens, the stability of economic development growth rate and dealing with the social implications of the pandemic.
On an international level, Egypt has been among the first countries to support the United Nations program to face the pandemic, Shoukry said, adding that Egypt has launched, in cooperation with partners, many vital initiatives in this regard.
He also referred to a resolution proposed by Egypt and approved by the General Assembly on the need to enhance national and international response to dealing with the coronavirus implications on women, girls and to include older citizens and people with special needs in the anti-coronavirus strategy.