The World Trade Organisation, WTO, can play a vital role in accessibility of COVID-19 vaccine.
These were the words of a former Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, while speaking at a reception held in her honour by the Nigerian Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN).
The mission used the occasion to appeal for global support for the former World Bank Managing Director candidacy, as the WTO Director-General position enters the election phase.
According to her, “When vaccines and therapeutic medicine are produced, the WTO should be able to facilitate accessibility and equitable distribution to all member nations. Trade has to be a strong recovery out of the global recession; that makes a multilateral trading system part of the solution.”
Okonjo-Iweala, who is the chair of Board of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) said her experience with the body was an advantage that would be useful as countries seek to produce vaccines.
She added that, “There is need for WTO to collaborate with finance agencies to address these issues otherwise it remains an impediment to multilateral trading system. If elected as director-general, you have an ally, who is interested in addressing these challenges.”