Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi launched the G20 summit by urging leaders to unite in the face of global challenges.
“Even before [the pandemic] we have been confronted with protectionism, unilateralism, nationalism – but the more we meet all our challenges, the clearer it is that multilateralism is the best answer to the problems we face today. In many ways, this is the only possible answer, ”Draghi said in his opening speech.
From the pandemic to climate change to fair and equitable taxation, going it alone is simply not an option. We must do all we can to overcome our differences, ”he added.
The Italian prime minister also raised the issue of disparities in vaccine distribution, saying leaders must be “aware” of the collective challenges ahead.
More than 70% of people in high-income countries have received at least one dose of the vaccine, he said. In comparison, only 3% of eligible people living in the world’s poorest countries received an injection.
“These differences are morally unacceptable and undermine the global recovery,” Draghi said.
The World Health Organization on Friday called on G20 leaders to close the gap, saying “the current gap in vaccine equity between richer and less-resource countries shows contempt for the lives of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable “.
In an open letter, WHO called on G20 leaders to commit to increasing vaccine supply for the world’s poorest, ensuring access to vaccines for refugees, migrants, internally displaced people and asylum seekers and to support low and middle income countries to fight the virus with “all means available”.
Per 100 people in high-income countries, 133 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered, while in low-income countries, only 4 doses per 100 people have been administered, according to the WHO.