Every country has been affected by COVID-19, with nearly a quarter of a billion cases and almost 5 million deaths reported globally as of the end of September 2021. According to the “Strategy to Achieve Global COVID-19 Vaccination by mid-2022” by World Health Organization (WHO), although over 6 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine have already been administered, and global production is now reaching 1.5 billion doses per month, the world is not positioned to end the pandemic.
However, globally, vaccine access is highly inequitable with coverage ranging from 1% to over 70%, depending largely on a country’s wealth. How could the distribution of vaccines during the COVID-19 situation be done in a more effective and efficient way? How could we ensure that all nations could equally receive the necessary aids?
The United Nations launched its sustainable development agenda in 2015, addressing urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts in relation to Sustainable Development Goal 13. Also, the Paris Agreement provides a framework for financial, technical, and capacity-building support from more developed countries to developing countries. However, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the economic and social development and poverty reduction are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country parties.
In relation to the commitment towards climate action and their rights of development, how do you think the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) can integrate SDGs into their policies? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answers.
According to the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated xenophobia, hate, and exclusion throughout the world. This includes verbal and physical attacks against Chinese and Asians, hate speech blaming Roma and Hispanics, and others. For example, 8 people including 6 Asian-American women were killed in the Atlanta metropolitan area in early 2021 and it led to the “Stop Asian Hate” movement worldwide.
Sustainable Development Goal 16 aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for and includes reducing all forms of violence. Do you think the racism and xenophobic violence attribute to the lack of action plans at a national or institutional level or the personal discontent among such minor groups? Support your idea with specific reasons and examples.
Greenhouse gas emissions are down and air quality has gone up, as governments react to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Inger Andersen, has cautioned the visible positive impacts are but temporary.
Sustainable Development Goal 13 aims to take action to combat climate change and its impacts as well. As an urgent to address both the pandemic and the climate emergency, specify your own ideas for a long-term systemic shift. Your Post-Pandemic Recovery Plan should support a more clean, green, healthy, safe, and resilient planet.