Andorra la Vieja, Apr 21.- The leaders of Latin America and the Caribbean together with Spain, Portugal and Andorra will today try to agree on common positions in the face of the crisis derived from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.
Andorra, a European microstate of just 77 thousand inhabitants and located between Spain and France, will host this Wednesday the XXVII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government.
Due to the pandemic, its hosts proposed a hybrid format in which only leaders of four of the 22 member countries traveled to the Principality: Spain and Portugal, due to geographical proximity, and Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, the previous and next headquarters of the Summit.
The rest of the Latin American leaders will intervene by videoconference in the plenary session of the forum in Andorra, the most recent and smallest member of the also known as the Ibero-American Community of Nations.
During the events leading up to the appointment, several leaders criticized the inequality in immunization against the deadly virus, which for more than a year has hit humanity hard.
At a business meeting held the day before in this capital, the presidents of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, and of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, condemned the lack of solidarity of the developed world in a situation of health crisis such as the current one.
Both leaders were especially critical of the Covax system - the global access fund to vaccines against COVID-19 promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) -, calling it a failure.
The Covax system has been a failure, I have said it myself protesting against that irresponsibility, where a small group of countries have all the vaccines and a large number we do not have access, lamented the Guatemalan president.
Giammattei advocated for a more caring world to face both the health emergency caused by SARS-CoV-2 and climate change, as well as reducing the gap between those who have the most and the least.
Abinader shared the opinion of his counterpart and explained that the Dominican Republic has already requested to have a patent agreement to produce the preparations at the national level.
As a sign of his commitment to Latin America and the Caribbean, the head of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced that his country will make COVID-19 vaccines available to the region as soon as possible, although without specifying the number of doses.
A powerful call for universal access to vaccination as a global public good is expected from the Summit, the Ibero-American Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan, recently advanced.
Also to strengthen the WHO Covax mechanism for equitable distribution of these drugs, Grynspan said.
Innovation for sustainable development-2030 Goal. Ibero-America facing the challenge of the coronavirus, will be the motto of the meeting of heads of State and Government. (Text and photo: PL)