By H.E. Ms. Maria Teresa de Jesus Infante Caffi, Ambassador of Chile and Ms. Anna María Oduber, Charge d’affaires, Embassy of Costa Rica in The Netherlands.
As the COVID-19 epidemic continues worldwide, a call for action has been made to support an initiative for solidarity during these difficult times. On Friday, May 12, Costa Rica and Chile presented to the WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom the proposal of a call for action to all Member States in joining them in the creation of a global platform that will enable the sharing of technologies and information about the COVID-19 epidemic.
The platform, which will officially go into effect on May 29, envisages comprising technologies, vaccines, research, and other vital information that can aid nations in progressing in the fight against the COVID-19 virus. The call for action constitutes an appeal to all states, to the academic and health sectors, as well as to corporations, and civil society, to share any progress they are making in this ongoing struggle to further obtain worldwide success on the matter.
The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, has stressed the need for solidarity in these uncertain times and highlighted the importance of sharing such vital knowledge. As he describes it, pandemics such as the one occurring today, hurt the most vulnerable portions of global society and put at risk much more than daily comfort. Solidarity between all countries will enable for better protection of these most at risk. Both Chile and Costa Rica have stressed the need to combat the COVID-19 epidemic together and supported the WHO’s stance on a united front.
As researchers and governments make progress and breakthroughs on treatments, and innovations concerning COVID-19, a public database will ensure that this information is available to those more in need and who may benefit the most in need without the risk of missing out. This will hopefully stimulate open access to information, free of charge that will help push forward the movement to end this pandemic and reduce human casualties. Where a lack of charge is not feasible, this call to action invites to stimulate views to agree on reasonable pricing for such information and innovations, while rendering them available in a timely manner for all those who require them. No heinous discriminations that affect public health and the ability to sustain the socio-economic development of our people can be sustained.
The call comes two weeks before the largest annual WHO event in which many other countries, such as the Netherlands, will also address the need for planned solidarity initiatives to promote a unified front against the COVID-19 virus.
This call for a combined front based on the principles of solidarity also draws on the third UN Global Sustainable Goal to “Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries… and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all.”
As president Alvarado said, “it’s an opportunity for humanity to show the best of what we are made of”. And as Chile said, when announcing the initiative, “in line with the ideas put at the forefront regarding climate change, it is time to enhance the ideals of multilateralism intensifying all levels of actions, be they national, regional or global, preventing and controlling pandemics, foreseeing the full realization of the highest mental and physical health standards that each person is entitled to.”
Chile and Costa Rica would like to associate themselves with other countries to be at the forefront of this call to action and to strengthen bonds as governments and societies, by sharing tools which will ultimately work to save lives.
Main picture H.E. Ms. Maria Teresa de Jesus Infante Caffi, Ambassador of Chile in The Netherlands.