* WCC issues statement to “Overcome Global Injustice and Inequity, to Defeat the Global COVID-19 Pandemic”
The World Council of Churches (WCC) executive committee released a public statement urging the world to come together to “Overcome Global Injustice and Inequity, to Defeat the Global COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Photo: Marcelo Schneider/WCC
20 May 2021
The statement calls upon all with the power to address the lamentable injustice and inequity revealed by the pandemic — governments, agencies, religious leaders, boards and leaders of corporations with ownership of patents and materials — to exercise leadership and act together urgently to ensure broad, rapid, equitable and affordable distribution of therapeutics and vaccines worldwide, to overcome this failure and to right this wrong.
“Since the supply of vaccines remains insufficient to meet the global need, and has been concentrated in countries able to pay a premium to ensure access, we support calls for the temporary waiver of relevant patents and other intellectual property rights, in order to remove a key obstacle to increased manufacturing and supply, especially in countries currently marginalized and excluded from adequate supply of needed vaccines,” the statement reads. “In addition, we call on all nations with greater supplies of vaccine to share their abundance, especially with lower-income countries, and to lift export restrictions in relation to COVID-19 health products.”
The WCC also appealed for the compassionate sharing of technology and know-how, to enable manufacturers in hard-hit countries in the Global South to produce vaccines for their people and others. “We urge greater support for and contributions to the WHO COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) as a key instrument for this purpose, and to the COVAX facility for more equitable distribution of available vaccine supplies,” reads the text. “We recognize that, beyond issues of supply and distribution of vaccines, other factors have intensified the impacts of the pandemic and as yet stand in the way of an exit from this crisis.”
The statement further notes that the lamentable failure of some leaders to act in accordance with scientific evidence had led to devastating consequences for people’s health and lives.
“These failures have cost many precious lives, and will result in longer and deeper suffering,” the stamens reads. “We call on all political leaders to act for the health and safety of all those living within their borders, to advance the scientific and medical remedies that will ease the pandemic in their countries and help hasten the end of the crisis globally.”