UN and Non-Aligned Movement demand more vaccines, climate aid for poorer nations


Marking the 60th anniversary of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), founder-member Ghana hits out at global powers for failing to share vaccines equitably, while the UN chief demanded more funding from rich countries to help poorer ones adapt to climate change.

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo suggested at the meeting in Belgrade on Monday (Oct. 11) that poor nations were at the mercy of powerful states hoarding supplies.

“We are observers of a global power play and are subject to the benevolence of powerful countries who give out their hoarded (vaccine) supplies at their own pace”, Akufo-Addo said.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged wealthy nations to allocate half of the funds they provide to developing nations to tackle climate change to the job of helping those countries to adapt and survive in a warming world.

“Fifty percent of all climate finance provided by developed countries and multilateral development banks should be dedicated to adaptation, to resilience,” Guterres said in a video message at the opening of a two-day meeting.

Wealthy nations are under increasing pressure to deliver on an unmet pledge, made in 2009, to send US$100 billion a year to help finance an adequate response by developing countries to rising global temperatures as the world prepares for COP26.

Of the finance being channelled by wealthy countries to help poorer nations manage climate change, adaptation has normally accounted for only about 20%, averaging about US$30 billion per year in 2017-18.

Most of the rest has been spent on reducing climate-heating emissions, such as by adopting renewable energy.

Guterres warned rich economies to ramp up efforts to help developing countries in a struggle against “biodiversity loss, pollution and climate change.”

He also called on the Group of 20 rich nations to do more to help vaccinate the planet against the new coronavirus.

The NAM, which was opposed to membership in Cold War-era military and political blocs, was formed in 1961 in Belgrade, the then capital of the now-defunct Yugoslavia, by leaders of India, Yugoslavia, Egypt, Ghana and Indonesia.

It is now comprised of 120 countries and has 29 observers, including Russia and China. (Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation)