Thursday 30 March 2023

Carlos Alvarado: Vaccine retention ‘delays global solution and increases risk of new virus variables’

During his speech at the VI Celac summit in Mexico, the president also spoke about climate change and highlighted the importance of ensuring the region's democracies

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QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado showed his opposition to the accumulation of vaccines against covid-19, during his speech at the VI Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which takes place this Saturday in the capital from Mexico.

“Our region is vulnerable to climate change but it also has opportunities to combat,” said President Carlos Alvarado at the CEPAL Summit in Mexico

In his first trip outside of Costa Rica since the start of the pandemic, Alvarado said that the retention of doses, mainly in countries with higher income, does not help to reduce the global spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

On the contrary, he insisted on using the Covax mechanism of the World Health Organization (WHO), to accelerate vaccination in all nations of the region.

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“The accumulation of vaccines in some countries, particularly in higher-income countries, delays the global solution, and increases the risk of new variables of the virus.

“In this context, Costa Rica promoted, in coordination with the WHO, the creation of a repository of technologies for covid-19 – the C-TAP, for its acronym in English-, so that advances in science and technology is widely accessible and cheaper,” said the president.

At the same time, he invited the CELAC countries to join the effort and stressed that Costa Rica and Chile are seeking the realization of an international treaty on pandemics, based on the right to health, as a global public good.

In his intervention, before the rest of his counterparts in the region, Alvarado also spoke about climate change and the need for democracies to prevail in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Our planet is in serious danger from climate change. The Caribbean and Central America are particularly vulnerable to extreme climates that harm our populations, their infrastructures, their crops and means of subsistence,” said Alvarado

In addition, he promoted a special declaration on “the urgent need to increase and improve climate financing”, this in view of the negotiations of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, which will be held in November 2021.

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“We must work together for the defense of the democratic institutionality of our countries, democracy, such as freedom of the press and freedom of expression, are values ​​and human assets of the highest that we must protect in our community,” added Alvarado and reiterated his solidarity with the people of Haiti.

For this Saturday, Casa Presidencial reported that the president has planned five bilateral meetings. He will meet with Presidents Dean Barrow, of Belize; Guillermo Lasso, of Ecuador; and Alejandro Giammattei, of Guatemala.

In addition, with Alicia Bárcena, executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal); and with Keith Rowley, president of the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

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