Ramaphosa: The longer it takes to vaccinate world, the greater the loss of life

President Cyril Ramaphosa was speaking at the opening of the World Trade Organisation public forum held under the theme, Trade Beyond COVID-19: Building Resilience.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the nation on 11 July 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for an effective multilateral trading system that benefits all affected by COVID-19.

He was speaking at the opening of the World Trade Organisation public forum held under the theme of Trade Beyond COVID-19: Building Resilience.

The meeting is looking at the effects of the pandemic and how the system can help in future crises.

Ramaphosa addressed the forum virtually, focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic and trade imbalances between the rich and poor nations.

With the latest stats suggesting that only 3% of the adult population was vaccinated in most low-income countries compared to more than 60% in high-income nations, Ramaphosa said that this was unacceptable.

“This gross inequality is both unjust and counterproductive. The longer it takes to vaccinate the world’s population, the greater the loss of life, the likelier the emergence of new variants.”

On trade, he called for open international trade.

The two-day public forum, ending on Thursday, is attended by business leaders, academics, governments, parliamentarians and intergovernmental organisations.

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