Singapore's deputy PM calls for strengthening global cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines

Source: Xinhua| 2020-09-30 22:28:47|Editor: huaxia

SINGAPORE, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat called for strengthening international cooperation on vaccines, when he delivered a pre-recorded video message at the high-level United Nations General Assembly event on COVID-19 response on Wednesday evening.

Heng, who is also coordinating minister for economic policies and minister for finance, said that the purposes are to accelerate the development of vaccines, maximize production capacity, and ensure affordable, fair and equitable access to vaccines for all.

He said that Singapore supports vaccine multilateralism and is a strong supporter of the role of the United Nations, the World Health Organization and international organizations in the fight against COVID-19.

According to the deputy prime minister, COVID-19 has turned into a global pandemic, raging across many parts of the world. Every country is doing its best to contain the spread of the virus, and to cushion the impact of the pandemic on businesses, workers and households. But no place can truly be safe, until every place is safe.

"Countries must therefore work together to fight this pandemic," Heng said. "This is our only way to overcome the crisis."

He added that he is glad that new and innovative forms of multilateral cooperation have been created in response to the pandemic, such as the Access to COVID-19 Tools or ACT Accelerator and the COVID-19 Global Vaccines Access or COVAX Facility.

Heng said that Singapore is an early supporter of these initiatives, and co-chairs the Friends of the COVAX Facility with Switzerland. The city-state also looks forward to representing the Forum of Small States, and working with friends and partners on the ACT-Accelerator Facilitation Council.

"We encourage more countries to join these efforts and support vaccine multilateralism to better fight COVID-19," he added. Enditem