Monday, September 20, 2021

APEC leaders pledge to focus on COVID-19 vaccines efforts to fight pandemic

Leaders of the Asia-Pacific trade group APEC, including US President Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have pledged to work to expand sharing and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines to fight the global pandemic. The leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation said that they would encourage the voluntary transfer of vaccine production technologies on mutually agreed terms as the region prepared for future health shocks.

After a virtual meeting chaired by New Zealand, the leaders said in a joint statement, the pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on our region people and economies. They said they will only overcome this health emergency by accelerating equitable access to safe, effective, quality-assured, and affordable COVID-19 vaccines. The APEC leaders met virtually to discuss collective actions to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts.

New Zealand, the revolving Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation host, said this week it would chair the extraordinary meeting ahead of a formal gathering in November, the first time such an additional meeting has been held. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that their discussions moved us beyond vaccine nationalism.

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