President Moon Jae-in urged the international community to ensure equitable access to vaccines and therapeutics in the fight against COVID-19.
In a video speech during a high-level meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, President Moon stressed that "unity, solidarity and cooperation" are the key to responding to the pandemic.
[Sound bite: President Moon Jae-in (Korean/English translation)]
"Solidarity and cooperation is a power unique to humans that a virus can never match. At the same time, it is the most potent weapon at our disposal that can defeat the coronavirus.
In order to achieve this goal, I would like to propose three ideas."
"First, we should guarantee equitable access to vaccines and therapeutics. Through global funding, we should facilitate the advance purchase of sufficient doses of vaccines for international organizations to ensure that developing countries can also share in the benefits. Korea is home to the headquarters of the International Vaccine Institute, and we will provide active support to various activities geared towards developing and distributing affordable vaccines for developing countries."
Moon was speaking in his capacity as the leader of the country chairing a group of five middle-power countries dubbed MIKTA, which includes South Korea, Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey and Australia.
In addition, South Korea, the European Union and 13 other countries issued a joint statement Monday calling for the "sufficient and equitable" distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
The statement was issued by the Friends of the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access(COVAX) Facility, a multilateral initiative aimed at ensuring fair and equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for all.
The Friends of the COVAX Facility, co-chaired by Singapore and Switzerland, comprises 14 countries and the European Union, including South Korea, Britain, Australia, Canada and Japan.
Last week, South Korea said it is pushing to secure enough coronavirus vaccines for 30 million people and plans to secure one-third through participation in the COVAX Facility.