The UK has raised a billion dollars (820 million euros) from its allies to help the “vulnerable countries” to access vaccines against Covid-19, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Sunday ahead of a virtual visit by the UN chief in London.
This sum collected in particular from Canada, Germany and Japan, added to the 548 million pounds (608 million euros) of London – which had promised to pay one pound for every 4 dollars collected -, “will distribute this year one billion doses of vaccines against the coronavirus in 92 developing countries”, the ministry said in a statement.
“We will only be safe from this virus when we are all safe – that is why we are focused on a global solution to a global problem,” said Foreign Minister Dominic Raab.
“It is only natural that on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the United Kingdom has taken the initiative with its allies to make a billion doses of vaccine against the coronavirus available to vulnerable countries”, he added.
75th anniversary of the United Nations
The announcement comes on the first day of a three-day virtual visit to the United Kingdom by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the UN, whose first meeting was held in London. .
In a speech at a virtual commemoration, António Guterres said on Sunday that the world was in “at a time (similar to that) in 1945”, but this time he was at war “against a microscopic virus”.
“The pandemic has revealed the deep weaknesses of our world”, he added, believing that the epidemic was a human tragedy, but also presented an opportunity to increase global cooperation on many subjects. “The past months have shown that huge transformations are possible, when there is political will and consensus on the way forward”, underlined Mr. Guterres.
The Secretary General will attend a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab and Alok Sharma, President of COP26 on Monday, hosted by the United Kingdom in Glasgow this year.
He will then participate with Boris Johnson in the “One Planet summit”, organized by France to relaunch a green diplomacy put on hold by the Covid-19.