Iceland calls for global vaccine equity

Guðlaugur Thór Thórdarson the Foreign Minister of Iceland called for vaccine equity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. In his address to the 76th General Assembly he said Iceland’s ambition is to go beyond the Paris commitments.

The Foreign Minister also called for a strong United Nations

„We have our work cut out for us. Around the world, calls for human rights, peace, and stability are too often ignored. And the threat of climate change is no longer a distant phenomenon: it is here, and it is intensifying.

But only together, can we respond and recover. To build a more just and peaceful planet for all of us, we need all nations united, our United Nations,“ Thórdarson said.

The Foreign Minister pointed out that while in most developed countries „we are turning a corner in our fight against the COVID-19“, the same cannot be said about all of the world.

“It is critical that we work together to ensure that vaccines reach all countries and peoples – rich and poor – and as soon as possible. Not only is this a fundamental matter of global solidarity, but also in the interest of us all.

Iceland is firmly committed to play its part. We have already contributed 1 billion Icelandic krona to the COVAX initiative and have started vaccine sharing through the same mechanism.“

Beyond Paris

Mr. Thórdarson said the the effects of climate change are bound to be even worse than the consequences of the pandemic.

„The science and the signs are clear and sobering, and the plans are already in place. We need to respond now and honour our commitments from Paris as we set our eyes on Glasgow.

For our part, Iceland’s ambition is to go beyond the Paris commitments.

This includes a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by more than half by 2030, complete carbon neutrality by 2040 and becoming fossil-fuel free by 2050.“

See also here for the text in Icelandic.