T&T supports U.S. decision to hold global COVID-19 summit
PORT OF SPAIN – The Trinidad & Tobago government on Friday welcomed the decision by the United States to stage a global coronavirus (COVID-19) summit in recognition of the danger posed by many of the world’s population not being vaccinated.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said the initiative announced by U.S. president Joe Biden is solidly aligned to the position of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping.
U.S. officials said the summit would be timed around United Nations general assembly meetings slated for the week of September 20 and would involve discussions aimed at better coordinating the world’s COVID-19 fight across a range of areas.
Among the topics up for discussion are ways to improve vaccine manufacturing and distribution and ramping up the supplies of oxygen to countries in need, and the possibility of international cooperation on research and development related to COVID-19.
Rowley had convened a special CARICOM summit to address COVID-19 vaccine availability as one of three high priority matters during his six-month tenure as chairman of the regional grouping earlier this year.
A key outcome was a call by CARICOM for a global summit in the context of the World Health
Organisation’s (WHO) ACT-A Facilitation Council to discuss equitable access and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Rowley also sought support for the global summit from the Director-General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a letter he had written in January this year.
A statement from the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs said Rowley was looking “forward to collaborating with other global leaders at the global COVID-19 summit and to reaching agreement on measures critical to sustaining the lives and livelihoods of persons in all countries”.