Duterte attacks rich countries for creating ''man-made drought of vaccines''
President Rodrigo Duterte attacked what he called the "selfish act" of rich countries who are planning to roll out COVID-19 booster shots while poor countries are struggling to get vaccines.
Duterte said "there is a man-made drought of vaccines ravaging poor countries."
"Rich countries hoard life-saving vaccines, while poor nations wait for trickles. They now talk of booster shots, while developing countries consider half-doses just to get by," he said.
"This is shocking beyond belief and must be condemned for what it is a selfish act that can neither be justified rationally nor morally," he added.
As he recognizes "that only inclusive multilateralism can deliver the global public goods", Duterte expressed the belief that "fairness, equality and respect should always be the basis of our engagement with one another."
"Only with these can we correct the injustices that doom the downtrodden all over the world to a life of indignity. And for thousands during this pandemic certain death," he said.
From what I have seen, that future will likely be one of inequality where the poor play catch-up with the rich, with no hope nor chance of ever succeeding in closing the gap. We cannot, in all conscience, allow this to happen. An unjust order is inherently volatile. We have to reverse course," he added.
As he urged other states to "fully support" the UN's COVAX Facility, Duterte stressed that the "pandemic will not end unless the virus is defeated everywhere".
"This is why the Philippines committed one million dollars to the UN's COVAX Facility. This is our modest contribution to our collective fight against COVID-19," he said.
"We strongly urge our privileged partners to fully support the COVAX Facility and further strengthen other cooperation mechanisms. We need this to save more lives, break the cycle of variants and help ensure global economic recovery," he added. Robina Asido/DMS