FROM BIDEN TO XI, LEADERS FOR VAX TECH TRANSFER
At key APEC meeting, they vow to accelerate access to Covid-19 vaccines
World leaders said in a statement issued after a virtual meeting of the Asia-pacific trade group APEC that extensive Covd-19 immunisation is a global public good and accelerating access to vaccines is essential to overcoming the crisis.
In a statement posted on the APEC website after a virtual meeting hosted by New Zealand, the leaders of the 21member grouping vowed to redouble efforts to expand vaccine manufacture and supply and said they would continue to support economies for as long as necessary.
“We recognise the role of extensive immunisation against Covid-19 as a global public good. To that end, we will redouble our efforts to expand vaccine manufacture and supply, support global vaccine sharing efforts, and encourage the voluntary transfer of vaccine production technologies on mutually agreed terms,” they stated.
US President Joe Biden, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and other world leaders took part in the meeting seeking collective actions to navigate Covid and its economic impacts.
Xi said China has financed the setup of a fund under APEC to fight Covid and fuel economic recovery. According to Xinhua, he said China supported waiving the intellectual property rights of Covid vaccines and was willing to cooperate with other countries to ensure a stable and safe supply chain for shots.
On the topic of regional economic integration, Xi called for countries to build an open, fair and unbiased environment for digital commerce. “We want to tear down walls, not build them; we want openness, not isolation; we want integration, not decoupling,” Xi told world leaders.
Addressing the meeting, Putin said Russia had actively encouraged other countries to produce Russian vaccines like Sputnik V and had transferred the technology to enable them to do so.