• Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
  • Last Update : 07:33 pm

UN chief grades world on vaccine rollout

  • Published at 10:05 pm September 21st, 2021
Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a news conference at UN headquarters in New York City, New York, US, November 20, 2020. REUTERS

World leaders returned to New York this year after a virtual event last year during the pandemic

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reprimanded the world on Tuesday for the inequitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, describing it as an "obscenity" and giving the globe an "F in Ethics."

Addressing the annual UN gathering of world leaders in New York, Guterres said images from some parts of the world of expired and unused vaccines in the garbage told "the tale of our times" - with the majority of the wealthier world immunized while more than 90% of Africa has not even received one dose.

"This is a moral indictment of the state of our world. It is an obscenity. We passed the science test. But we are getting an F in Ethics," Guterres told the UN General Assembly.

World leaders returned to New York this year after a virtual event last year during the pandemic. As the coronavirus is still raging, about a third of the 193 UN states are again sending videos, but presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers for the remainder have travelled to the United States.

Out of 5.7 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines administered around the world, only 2% have been in Africa. Guterres is pushing for a global plan to vaccinate 70% of the world by the first half of next year.

The secretary-general, who begins a second five-year term at the helm of the world body on January 1, also warned of rising tensions between the world's superpowers - China and the United States.

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