WTO—DG Okonjo-Iweala urges worldwide access to vaccines for coronavirus (COVID-19)

WTO—DG Okonjo-Iweala urges worldwide access to vaccines for coronavirus (COVID-19)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General (DG), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has argued during meetings in Washington DC that equitable access to coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines worldwide will prove essential for global economic growth and trade to recover following the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In addition, Dr Ngozi stressed that ‘a reinvigorated multilateral trading system would strengthen both the health response and the economic recovery’.

In Washington DC, DG Okonjo-Iweala met with US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, to discuss the subjects of addressing shortcomings in the global production and distribution of coronavirus vaccines, personal protective equipment and other medical supplies, the expansion of the worldwide coronavirus response, as well as other items relevant to the WTO’s broader reform agenda.

Speaking on the meeting, DG Okonjo-Iweala stated the following:

‘In all of my discussions in Washington, D.C. it was clearer than ever that a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic means rapid, equitable access to vaccines, especially in developing and least developed countries. Continued vaccine scarcity and the related threat of dangerous new viral variants are the top risks to the rebound in global economic activity and trade: nobody will be safe until everyone is safe.’

Source: DG Okonjo-Iweala: Equitable vaccine access key to sustained recovery for growth and trade

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