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In U.N. speech, PM stresses need for 'equitable access' to COVID-19 vaccines

All News 07:18 December 04, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said Friday that the international community must work together to ensure each nation has evenhanded access to COVID-19 vaccines once they are developed and available for use.

"To envision a resolution to this crisis that leaves no one behind, we must guarantee equitable access to vaccines and treatments, once available," Chung said in a video speech during the 31st special session of the United Nations General Assembly held in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chung stated, "The most definite way to break free from the grave threat posed by COVID-19 lies in the development of effective vaccines and treatments."

The prime minister also explained South Korea's proactive initiatives in moving the economy forward from the aftermath of the pandemic, such as its landmark Korean New Deal project.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun presides over a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters at the government complex in Seoul on Dec. 2, 2020. (Yonhap)

Seoul is currently pushing for the so-called Korean version of the New Deal aimed at promoting economic development by expanding digital infrastructure and fostering environment friendly businesses.

"By combining innovative technologies with people-centered values, the hope is to promote an inclusive society of prosperity for all while pursuing the successful transition to an eco-friendly and low-carbon economy," Chung said.

Chung also noted how the pandemic has hit the most vulnerable members of society, including women, children, the elderly and the disabled, the hardest, and that developing nations have also suffered disproportionately.

In response, the prime minister pledged to expand Seoul's official development assistance (ODA) in the public health and medical sector, and implement a "COVID-19 response ODA strategy" that adapts South Korea's model of disease control to the specific needs of respective partner countries.

odissy@yna.co.kr
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