New York / Beijing / Berlin (dpa) – UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls for speeding up global distribution of corona vaccines.
“If the industrialized countries think they are safe, if they vaccinate their own people and neglect developing countries, then they are wrong,” Guterres said in a video address at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting. “There is now a clear, real danger of mutations that make the virus more transmissible or deadly or more resistant to existing vaccines. We must act quickly. “
The global production capacity of the resources to contain the Covid-19 pandemic would need to be massively expanded and licenses made available, Guterres continued. In addition, it must be ensured that the vaccines are affordable in poorer parts of the world. “Vaccines should be seen as global public goods,” said the UN chief, and campaigned for better funding for the international corona vaccination initiative Covax.
Well-known US corona expert Anthony Fauci reported on the difficult corona situation in his country: “It is extremely problematic to deal with a public health crisis when the country is in the middle of a rupture,” said the director. from the National Institute for Infectious Diseases (NIAID). “If public health issues are politically charged – if wearing a mask is a political statement – then you can’t imagine how damaging that would be for a public health message.”
China’s head of state and party, Xi Jinping, spoke out for increased international cooperation and free world trade against the backdrop of mounting tensions between his country and the US or Europe. The world’s problems could not be solved by any country alone, Xi Jinping said in a video address on Monday at the opening of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual virtual meeting.
Forming small alliances will only further divide the world. Disregarding the multitude of newly imposed US sanctions against China, Xi Jinping more broadly warned against threatening or imposing sanctions, disconnecting the economies or disrupting supply chains. Foreign trade policy must also not be at the expense of other countries. Despite criticism of ongoing market barriers in China, Xi Jinping has assured that China wants to open up further.
It was the second appearance of the Chinese president at the annual meeting after 2017. At the time, after Donald Trump’s inauguration, Xi Jinping used the meeting to profile himself as a pioneer of free world trade, unlike the then new US president and its protectionism.
In a panel discussion, Federal Economy Minister Peter Altmaier assumed that the US position on open markets and multilateralism had changed. This was something very controversial in the debates with the US for four years. Regarding the new US administration under Joe Biden, the CDU politician said, “Now we must give them the opportunity not only to develop their ideas, but also to implement them.”
Due to the corona pandemic, the traditional annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is taking place online for the first time and not in Davos, Switzerland. Representatives from politics, business and society will be in online rounds through Friday to discuss current challenges such as the pandemic and climate change. The World Economic Forum also wants to organize a real meeting this year: business leaders, top politicians and representatives of society will gather in Singapore at the end of May.