The President of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Tijjani
Muhammad-Bande, has said the global body is pushing for equal access
to COVID-19 vaccines by all countries once the vaccines are available.
Muhammad-Bande disclosed yesterday while addressing a virtual press
conference, adding that the developing countries have done better than
developed countries as regards the management of the pandemic.
According to him, “COVID-19 has reminded us that we cannot have peace
when our neighbours don’t have no peace; you cannot be healthy when
your neighbours are not healthy. The pandemic has brought this to bear
Muhammad-Bande said: “Poor and rich countries are all affected. In
some respect, Africa or Nigeria has done far better than countries
that were expected to have done even better in dealing with the
pandemic. Of course, the difference is that richer countries have been
better able to provide palliatives for their citizens than poorer
countries that were struggling even before the pandemic.”
The UNGA president noted that the poorer segment in all countries has
been hit the most by the pandemic, adding that even in countries that
are better structured in terms of financing, the poorer villages are
the most hit.
Going forward, Muhammad-Bande stressed that there was need to pay more
attention to the issue of disparity in technology, whether in
education or in agriculture, in the developing countries.
He added: “UN has taken the lead to push for equal access to vaccines
once they are available. The world body operates on the principle of
leaving no one behind.”
On the Mali crisis, the UNGA president noted that the region has a
very strong body-Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS)-,
and that the leadership of the regional body has been given the
mandate to handle the issue.
Muhammad-Bande stated: “The issue is that the UN council is fully
involved, and the problem is also being permanently dealt with by the
body that is closer to it, which is the ECOWAS leadership, and it is
being supported. The UN has been heavily involved because it is a
security issue. The UN works with the AU and ECOWAS leadership.”