Nations must work in a spirit of cooperation rather than selfishness in the fight against coronavirus, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier stressed.
In Steinmeier's message against "vaccine nationalism", he explained, "No-one is safe from COVID-19; no-one is safe until we are all safe from it. Even those who conquer the virus within their own borders remain prisoners within these borders until it is conquered everywhere." The president continued, "If we don't want to live in a world after the pandemic in which the principle 'Everyone against each other and everyone for themselves' gains even more ground then we need the enlightened reason of our societies and our governments."
Steinmeier said the rapid spread of the virus had resulted in an enormous worldwide mobilization of resources and a growing spirit of ingenuity. However, he said the trend of nations reserving large quantities of vaccines for their populations could prove unhelpful.
"COVID-19 challenges us all. The virus knows no borders. It is indifferent to the nationality of its victims. It will continue to overcome every barrier in the future if we do not confront it together. In the face of the virus, we are undoubtedly a global community. But the crucial question is: are we able to act as such?"
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated, "Developed countries must support health systems in countries that are short of resources."
Head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghenreyesus said the only way to recover from the pandemic was by making sure poorer countries had fair access to a vaccine. He also tweeted his support for Steinmeier's message.
"I hope the world hears President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's call for global solidarity to end the COVID-19 pandemic," the WHO chief wrote.