Jul 05 2021
Past event

The human rights case for vaccine multilateralism

The Permanent Mission of Singapore and the Universal Rights Group, with the support of the Permanent Mission of Norway, and UNICEF, will be hosting an event in the margins of the 47th session of the Human Rights Council on ‘The human rights case for vaccine multilateralism’ on Thursday 5th July 2021, 13h30-14h45.

The global distribution of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines has been extremely unequal, with terrible consequences for the rights to health and to life, especially in the world’s poorest countries.

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in June that of 1.8 billion vaccines administered around the world, only 0.4% had been in low-income countries. Furthermore, the recent surge of infections in India, the world’s second most populous country, has underlined the importance of equitable vaccine access and distribution, including in preventing the emergence of future SARS CoV-2 variants of concern.

The side event will consider the devastating human rights consequences of COVID-19 and the need for equitable distribution of life-saving vaccines. Based on an understanding that ‘no one is safe until we are all safe,’ the event will then consider the human rights imperatives behind calls for a greater shift from ‘vaccine nationalism’ to ‘vaccine multilateralism’ – through higher production, by removing exports barriers, by sharing already-ordered vaccines, and by upscaling support to the COVAX facility. Only through such rights-based steps can UN member States fight the pandemic quickly and effectively – protecting human lives and human rights in the short- and medium-term.


Moderated panel debate

Moderator: Mr Marc LIMON, Executive Director, Universal Rights Group

Opening statements

  • H.E. Ms Michelle BACHELET, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Video message from UNICEF Ambassadors

Question and answer session with:

  • H.E. Mr Umej Singh BHATIA, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Singapore
  • H.E. Mr CHEN Xu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of China
  • H.E. Mr Thomas WAGNER, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Observer, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva
  • Dr Mariȃngela SIMÃO, Assistant Director-General, Access to Medicines and Health Products, World Health Organisation
  • Mr Rajat KHOLSA, Senior Director for Research, Advocacy and Policy, Amnesty International

To join the event please register HERE.

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  • Jul 5th 2021
  • 13:30 - 14:45
  • Public event