Universal distribution of vaccines best way to end COVID-19: Pakistani FM

The production and universal distribution of vaccines are the best response to the mutating coronavirus amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Friday.

Pakistan assumed chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China, a coalition of more than 130 developing nations, for the year 2022 on Friday.

Addressing a virtual handover ceremony of the chairmanship to Pakistan, the foreign minister said the world is still battling the vicious virus which has taken a massive human, economic, social and psychological toll.

He said the world is facing a triple crisis: the COVID-19 pandemic, the related economic downturn and the threat posed by climate change.

Qureshi said the pandemic has affected developing countries disproportionately. Due to weak health systems and meager resources, millions in the developing world have suffered enormously and mostly in silence, he added.

He said that over 20 countries are food insecure and some are getting stalked by famine, especially in conflict zones in Africa and Afghanistan.

To address the contemporary challenges being faced by the world, the foreign minister said the survival of humanity requires the adoption of mutual support, solidarity and unity.