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MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte has urged Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders to ensure the unimpeded flow of vaccine for COVID-19, which has killed more than a million people and ruined industries around the world Has.

“We need to ensure the free flow of medical supplies and technology, especially COVID-19 vaccines. We have to defeat the virus everywhere or no one is safe. To do this, we need to strengthen partnerships to make vaccines a global public good, ”said the president on Friday at a video conference with 20 other leading representatives of the APEC economies, including US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Duterte’s message was broadcast from Malacañang.

The President said in his intervention that it would be folly to assume that there might be pockets of safe havens in the face of a global pandemic.

Duterte also said that in addition to bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the supply and distribution of vaccines, tripartite arrangements can be made between the government, the private sector and multilateral financial institutions.

“There is no other way. Let us resolve to respond decisively to universal access to vaccines and to maximize these mechanisms. Indeed, COVID-19 is the defining challenge facing our generation, unparalleled in scope and impact on our societies, ”he said.

The President stressed that the task is to save lives, even if it means the cessation of economic activity.

“In the beginning it was the right thing to do. We saved lives and contained the spread of the virus. It is now clear, however, that this approach is hardly sustainable. We need to reopen our economies while protecting our people and helping them adjust to a “new normal”, ”added Duterte.

The President said the world is still in a very difficult position given the complexity and scale of the recovery process.

“We aim to have a full recovery without anyone being left behind. This can only be achieved through closer cooperation with the international community, in particular with close partners in the Pacific region and the key areas in which we can work together, ”stressed Duterte in his remarks.

The President also said that information is key to effective response and mitigation efforts. “We welcome Malaysia’s initiative to set up the COVID live online portal to share best practices,” he said.

Duterte said that APEC economies must keep trade free, open and fair if they are to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic recovery.

Duterte said that over the years, APEC has helped fuel economic growth and prosperity and lift millions of people out of poverty in the Pacific Rim.

“Tonight we acknowledge the economic progress that we have made so far. However, we have a new reality that is sobering. We shouldn’t be discouraged. If anything, we need to re-commit to bolder and more concrete ways to ensure the economic well-being and vitality of our region, ”added the Director General.

The president and other leaders also endorsed the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040. The document obliges member countries to deepen regional economic integration, eliminate income disparities within and between countries and improve cooperation in order to counter the disruptive effects of a new globalization driven by digitization and innovation.

APEC business leaders also adopted the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration, which highlights key needs such as combating and mitigating the effects of COVID-19.

The 27. APEC Economic Leaders Meeting ended with the APEC Chairmanship moving from Malaysia to New Zealand.

Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin Jr. . and Commerce and Industry Minister Ramon Lopez joined the president during the meeting.

In addition to the Philippines, the United States, China, and Russia, the APEC economies include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Peru, Singapore , Thailand and Vietnam.

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Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Xi Jinping, China, Donald Trump

News – PH – Duterte to APEC: Ensuring the Free Flow of Vaccine

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