UNITED NATIONS: Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), on Sunday called for ensuring that COVID-19 vaccines are accessible to all people.
"More than ever, we must work together; as our hopes turn to vaccines for COVID-19, we must extend the same compassion and spirit of cooperation. We must ensure that decisions are not driven only by profit, or narrow national concerns, but by a need to protect all people, everywhere," the UNGA President said in a video message for the International Human Solidarity Day, which falls on December 20.
"These must be vaccines for all, fairly and equitably accessible in all countries," Bozkir noted.
Recalling that in April of this year, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, "hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people, would stand on their balconies and cheer each day for the essential workers who were putting themselves on the line for the benefit of others," the UNGA President said that "the same occurred in other cities around the world."
"In Italy, news emerged of people performing music on their balconies. World renowned tenor, Andrea Bocelli, performed to an empty cathedral while millions watched online," he continued.
"Scenes such as these were seen the world over, as humankind came together to a degree that they never had before. The sense of shared grief, desperation, anxiety and hope spread from country to country, from community to community, and created a sense of human solidarity against a common challenge," added Bozkir.
"We need that sense of human solidarity now, as much as we ever did," he stressed. The UNGA president underscored that the COVID-19 pandemic has not been conquered yet and "millions continue to be infected and the economic impacts affect billions", the Xinhua news agency reported.
"As we celebrate Human Solidarity Day, during what has been one of the most challenging years of our existence, let us continue to lean into this sense of one global community, one humanity, together," said the veteran diplomat from Turkey.
The International Human Solidarity Day, observed on Dec. 20, is an international annual unity day of the United Nations and its member states introduced by the General Assembly during the 2005 world summit. It was established on Dec. 22, 2005 by Resolution 60/209. Its main goal is to recognize the universal values of poor by making the associated countries aware of reducing poverty and to formulate its countermeasures as signed by the independent states. (IANS)