COVID-19 vaccine must be shared around – former WTO chief Pascal Lamy

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Former World Trade Organization chief Pascal Lamy has stressed the importance of a COVID-19 vaccine in order for countries to fight the pandemic. 

Lamy, who served as WTO Director-General between 2005 and 2013, spoke to CGTN Europe from the Paris Peace Forum at which more than 30 heads of state and government officials discussed ways of rebuilding from the virus. 

« We need this COVID-19 vaccine, » Lamy said. « We know they are somewhere probably in the pipeline, we must make sure we don’t end up with a planet where half the seven billion people have one and the other half don’t have one. » 

Drugmakers and research centers around the world are working on a vaccine, with large global trials well under way for several of the candidates involving thousands of people.

The World Health Organization has also urged wealthier countries to share their vaccine pools to nations less wealthy when one becomes available, in order to allow the global rebuilding process to take shape. 

The pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on nations across the world, but as countries look to rebuild, Lamy believes the first things nations should do is to spend more on pandemic prevention. 

« The pandemic raises major questions on the way the world is organized, » he said. « The main lesson is that we have to invest much more resources to try to prevent this sort of pandemic. It has cost zillions of dollars. Prevention is lesson number one long-term – and should be done globally. »

The pandemic has also affected global trade but Lamy believes the recalibration of companies’ supply chains will not lead to deglobalization. 

« The reason that these supply chains proliferated is because they are cheaper, » he said. « You may have to do that to ensure the delivery of goods and services to the people… shortening supply chains can be very costly and it’s not going to happen grand-scale. »