Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the virus had accelerated already pre-existing problems and long-standing imbalances in the world. Picture: Alexei Nikolskiy/RIA Novosti/Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the virus had accelerated already pre-existing problems and long-standing imbalances in the world. Picture: Alexei Nikolskiy/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

WEF pushes for more multilateralism in dealing with virus

By Siphelele Dludla Time of article published Jan 28, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - THE WORLD Economic Forum (WEF) yesterday continued to drum up support for multilateralism in dealing with the global supply-chain bottlenecks Covid-19 vaccines.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the virus had accelerated already pre-existing problems and long-standing imbalances in the world.

Putin said the global shortage of the vaccines could lead to the aggravation of international relations to a point where there was a fight of “all against all”. He said the Covid-19 economic fallout had increased social stratification, populism, right and left-wing radicalism.

“All of this cannot but impact international relations, making them less stable and predictable,” he said. “But I would like to reiterate that the situation might develop unpredictably and uncontrollably if we will sit on our hands doing nothing to avoid it,” Putin said.

“And there is a possibility that we may experience an actual collapse of global development that might result in a fight of all against all.”

The World Health Organization last week pointed out that only 25 people had been vaccinated in Africa compared with 39million in rich countries.

Talks between the EU commission and AstraZeneca yesterday nearly collapsed after the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company said it would make “best effort” to deliver the doses of the vaccine but was not contractually committed to a schedule.

President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in yesterday underlined the importance of solidarity around the world to help secure equitable vaccines. Moon said co-operation between multiple parties had opened space for diagnostic kits and vaccines.

He said the world was, however, still not in the clear as polarisation and inequities continue both within and between countries, despite these impressive efforts. “The world needs to reinforce solidarity and collaboration to ensure a sustainable recovery,” Moon said.

“This includes equitable access to vaccines, which Korea is taking an active part in.”

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