Qatar affirmed the importance of spreading values of equality, co-operation and transparency in efforts to address the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in order to achieve our aspiration of overcoming this crisis, stressing that it is important that everyone obtains a fair opportunity to get the vaccine to prevent the virus in a safe and effective manner, without any kind of discrimination and away from nationalism and ethnic affiliations.
It also affirmed the importance of taking into account the needs of specific groups to limit the spread or reduce deaths due to the pandemic.
This came in a statement delivered by HE the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations Office in Geneva, ambassador Ali Khalfan al-Mansouri, during the annual high-level panel discussion on human rights mainstreaming at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, focusing on the fight against racism and discrimination, 20 years after the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action, and the exacerbating effects Covid-19 had had on these efforts.
As Qatar sought to limit the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic since the beginning by providing various kinds of international aid, it also sought to support international efforts related to fair and equal access to vaccines by supporting initiatives that help low-income countries to get equal opportunities in obtaining them, al-Mansouri said.
He pointed out that Qatar allocated $20mn to support Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) and the Covax mechanism to ensure fair and equal access of vaccines to 92 Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligible countries.
The 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action represents a significant milestone in the process of joint collective action to promote the values of equality and prevent discrimination in all its forms.
Despite the efforts made since the adoption of this declaration to promote these values, the phenomena of intolerance, racism and discrimination are still present and widespread, and they have exacerbated recently with the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic through many practices that have been reinforced by hate speech, incitement and hostile attitudes against certain groups in society, based on their nationality, ethnic origin, and even their religion, he added.
Al-Mansouri stressed the importance of taking effective and decisive measures to put an end to these discriminatory practices and hold perpetrators accountable and ensure that they do not recur.