Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday said Bangladesh wants that the technologies of Covid vaccines would be shared with every country so that all could produce much-demanded lifesaving inoculation at a reasonable price.
“We demand Covid vaccines to be a public good and its technology should be shared and made available to all countries to produce it at an affordable price,” he said.The foreign minister was speaking as the chief guest at a webinar titled “Revisiting Contemporary Peace and Security Challenges in the South Asian Region”, organized by Bangladesh of Institute of International Strategic Studies (BIISS).
Dr Momen said it is imperative that South Asian nations should receive their share of the vaccine and that too without any strings attached due to the sudden sweep of Covid-19 in the region.
During this critical time of pandemic, he said the world has discovered with awe and disappointment that global politics and affluence-power nexus have the overpowering dominance in the global society.
“We wonder if the way to procure vaccines would be smooth at all as the bilateral cooperation is not the only deciding factor,” he added
The foreign minister expressed his satisfaction by mentioning that Bangladesh could initiate and adhere to a form of ‘vaccine diplomacy’ which ensures diversified sources of vaccines.
“Pandemic COVID-19 has opened our eyes to the new realities that we must consider while we strive to move forward,” he said, adding that health emergencies must be viewed as global security crises that require coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders.To obtain the full health, Momen said, societal, and economic benefits of vaccines, programs must be coordinated, inclusive, and equitable.
He underlined the need for stronger regional and international cooperation in the coming days for mitigating the impact of the pandemic and for the rebuilding phase.
He said the evolving pandemic has proliferated beyond a health crisis into a growing threat on socio-economic systems and livelihoods. “Unfortunately, we are likely to confront new challenges,” he added.
He said the world is countering new and deeper fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic on countries and communities across the world while global and regional cooperation has been badly affected by the onslaught of the pandemic.
The foreign minister said the pandemic illustrated that political leaders, scientists, and citizens cannot operate in isolation during health crises.
BIISS chairman Ambassador Fazlul Karim Chairman and Director General Major General Emdadul Bari also spoke, among others, on the occasion.