Least developed countries should be prioritised in vaccine cooperation: Nepal

·2-min read

Kathmandu, Jun 24 (PTI) Highlighting the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the least developed countries, Nepal has stressed on the need to give due priority to such nations in vaccine cooperation as well as on post-pandemic recovery.

Nepal Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Bishnu Prasad Paudel said this at a key ministerial conference of Asia Pacific countries held virtually by China on Wednesday to discuss the Beijing-backed Belt and Road Cooperation.

More than 30 parties, including foreign ministers or economic ministers of relevant countries in Asia-Pacific and representatives of the UN and other international organisations attended the conference themed 'Promoting Cooperation on Combating the Pandemic for Sustainable Recovery'.

In his address to the conference, Paudel emphasised on the need for global cooperation, unity and solidarity in defeating COVID-19, according to a press statement issued by the Nepal Government.

Highlighting the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the LDCs and poorer segment of society, he stressed on the need to give due priority to those countries in vaccine cooperation as well as on post-pandemic recovery, the statement said.

BRI partner countries from South Asia, South East Asia, the Oceania, Central Asia, West Asia and Latin America as well as international organisations attended the virtual conference launched with the twin initiatives for Belt and Road Partnership on COVID-19 Vaccines Cooperation and on Green Development.

The BRI, a multi-billion-dollar initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he came to power in 2013, aims to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea routes.

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the flagship project of the BRI. India has objected to China as the CPEC is being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The meeting was held days after G7 countries headed by the US announced plans to “Build Back Better World' (B3W) to counter Beijing’s multi-billion-dollar infrastructure development initiative. PTI SBP PMS AKJ PMS PMS

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