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Failure to vaccinate everyone will give rise to new variants: Warns UN chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday has warned that the failure to vaccinate everyone will give rise to new coronavirus variants!

UN Chief said that the Covid-19 pandemic has to be confronted with equity and fairness, cautioning that failure to vaccinate every person will give rise to new variants that will bring daily life and economies to a grinding halt.

Guterres’s remarks were shared virtually at the opening of the 2022 World Economic Forum (WEF). 

UN Chief said that “The last two years have demonstrated a simple but brutal truth – if we leave anyone behind, we leave everyone behind”.

He gave a clarion call to the world leaders to stand together to make 2022 a true moment of recovery.

Mentioning that the global event is taking place in the shadow of an “enormously difficult” period for economies, people, and the planet, he urged the international community, especially the global businesses, that “we need all hands on deck” for recovery and economic rebound this coming year.

“If we fail to vaccinate every person, we give rise to new variants that spread across borders and bring daily life and economies to a grinding halt,” he said.

The world is witnessing the latest Covid-19 variant Omicron spreads at a lightning speed and exponentially increasing infection rates and threatening to burden the healthcare infrastructure in nations.

Guterres further said that the global financial system needs to be reformed so it works for all countries without being biased because at this critical moment in time, “we are setting in stone a lopsided recovery.”

“The global financial system has failed them when they need it most. And global solidarity is missing in action We need a global financial system that is fit-for-purpose. This means urgent debt restructuring and reforms of the long-term debt architecture,” he said.

UN Chief added that this also means addressing corruption and illicit financial flows, and ensuring that tax systems are fair and designed in a way that truly reduces inequalities.

He rang an alarm on climate inaction, saying if countries fail to match climate rhetoric with climate actions, “we condemn ourselves to a hotter, more volatile earth, with worsening disasters and mass displacement.”

Cautioning that nations cannot afford to replicate the inequalities and injustices that continue condemning tens of millions of people to lives of want, poverty, and poor health.

Guterres said, “We cannot continue building walls between the haves and have-nots.”

“We need to come together – across countries and across sectors – to support those countries who need the most help,” he added.


Saman Siddiqui

Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.

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