Human Rights Council 52nd Session.
ITEM 3 – Interactive dialogue on the report of the High Commissioner on ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access for all countries to vaccines in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic
Statement delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith,
Permanent Representative of Norway on behalf of the Nordic Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden
Check against delivery
16 March 2023
I make this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries [Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Norway].
We thank the OHCHR for the report on access for all countries to vaccines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The development of medical countermeasures to COVID-19 set new records, including for time taken between vaccine development to roll-out in low income countries. The ACT-A* partnership aided this effort, and its vaccine pillar, COVAX, distributed billions of vaccine doses.
The report points out many of the challenges faced in ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access to vaccines. This includes the lack of diversified production across regions, the lack of capacity in some countries to store and distribute vaccines, vaccine hesitancy, the lack of reliable systematic and timely data, misinformation, and weak health systems.Learning from these experiences will be key. National policies should be human rights-based, including for immunization. Building resilient and robust health systems must be high on our agenda.
Could you elaborate on how you assist countries in ensuring that immunization priorities are in line with a human rights-based approach?
* [Access to COVID-19 Tools-Accelerator]