FM Kang says resorting to 'vaccine nationalism' will only prolong pandemic
SEOUL, Feb. 5 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Friday urged countries to stay away from so-called vaccine nationalism, saying that such an attitude will only prolong the coronavirus pandemic.
Kang made the remark at a forum on sustainable development in Seoul, calling for efforts to ensure "equitable" distribution of vaccines to people around the world.
"Of particular importance at this point is to keep the so-called vaccine nationalism at bay and ensure equitable and affordable COVID-19 vaccines to all," she said during the Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development, hosted by Yonsei University.
"A handful of countries hoarding vaccines defeats that collective good and will only prolong the pandemic," she said.
She also highlighted the need for "a united drive" to build back communities from the devastating consequences of the pandemic and redouble efforts for a "more inclusive and sustainable future."
Kang went on to introduce South Korea's contributions to that end, including the provision of health assistance to more than 120 countries in terms of COVID-19 responses, as well as its participation in the COVAX Facility, a global vaccine procurement program, to help ensure safe and fair access for all countries.
She also explained that South Korea has been active in its push toward making the economy "greener" with its pledge last year to go carbon neutral by 2050 under the government's Green New Deal, which is aimed at achieving sustainable growth through eco-friendly policies.
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