The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday expressed grave concern about the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Africa, and urged greater cooperation in winning a better future for the continent.
The pandemic “has caused severe socioeconomic, political, humanitarian and security repercussions, and further exacerbated existing conflict drivers in Africa,” said a presidential statement of the UNSC.
Combating the pandemic and sustainably recovering from it requires greater cooperation and solidarity, and a coordinated, inclusive and comprehensive international response with the United Nations playing a key coordinating role, the statement said.
The statement stressed the need for greater support to African countries, especially those conflict-affected countries, and regional and sub-regional organisations in order to recover from the pandemic and build back better in a more just, equal, equitable and inclusive manner.
“The Security Council expresses concern that Africa has only received 2 per cent of all vaccines administered globally and reiterates the need to enable equitable access to quality, safe, efficacious, and affordable COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines to all,” it said.
It also stressed support to strengthening health systems and invites donation of vaccine doses to African countries in need and other relevant supplies and assistance.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired the Security Council’s high-level meeting, as China holds the rotating presidency of the UNSC for May.
The members of the Council unanimously adopted the presidential statement drafted by China. -Xinhua