Business View Caribbean | April 2021

11 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN APRIL 2021 T he Caribbean Community (CARICOM) welcomes the support of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) for its call for a global summit to address urgently the issue of equitable access and distribution of vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. CARICOM Chairman, Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago had written in January, on behalf of the Community, to the Director-General of the WHO Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus urging him to convene at the earliest possible opportunity a Global Summit to address urgently equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, particularly for developing countries. The Summit, Dr Rowley proposed, would be held in the context of the Organisation’s ACT-A Facilitation Council. The call was repeated by CARICOM Heads of Government following the Intersessional Meeting which they held in late February. The CELAC statement issued by Mexico as the President Pro Tempore of the group, expressed concern over the lack of delivery of vaccines to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Region. The statement said that while CELAC supported the COVAX mechanism, it called for the Caribbean to “receive the vaccines as quickly and equitably as possible.” “We are convinced that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of maintaining a strong, united and caring Latin American and Caribbean region, where no country is excluded from universal, fair, equitable and timely access to medicines, vaccines and medical supplies. Therefore, Mexico joins the call made by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to hold a CELAC SUPPORTS CARICOM CALL FOR GLOBAL VACCINE SUMMIT Global Summit within the framework of the World Health Organization to address the urgent equitable access to said vaccines,” the statement said. The full statement reads: CELAC PPT expresses concern over the lack of delivery of COVID-19 vaccines at the island States of the region It calls on the COVAX mechanism to expedite the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to countries in the region, particularly those participating in the Advanced Market Commitment modality. Mexico, in its capacity as President Pro Tempore OPENING L INES