By Economic Times – Over 100 global leaders appeal to declare covid-19 vaccines a common good Over 100 global leaders, thinkers and industrialists including Ratan Tata, NR Narayana Murthy, Kailash Satyarthi and Shabana Azmi have joined Nobel peace prize winner Muhammad Yunus in an appeal to declare Covid-19 vaccines a global common good so that the vaccines can be produced and distributed for free.Last Updated: Jun 28, 2020, 10.38 PM ISTAFPAbout 18 Nobel winners, 32 former chief of state and governments, political leaders, international NGOs and institutions have signed the call initiated by Yunus Centre of Bangladesh.KOLKATA: Over 100 global leaders, thinkers and industrialists including Ratan Tata, NR Narayana Murthy, Kailash Satyarthi and Shabana Azmi have joined Nobel peace prize winner Muhammad Yunus in an appeal to declare Covid-19 vaccines a global common good so that the vaccines can be produced and distributed for free.

About 18 Nobel winners, 32 former chief of state and governments, political leaders, international NGOs and institutions have signed the call initiated by Yunus Centre of Bangladesh.

“The unified appeal is urging action from governments, foundations, philanthropists and social businesses to come forward to produce and/or distribute the vaccines all over the world for free,” Yunus Centre said in a statement.

“The pandemic is clearly exposing the strength and weaknesses of healthcare systems in every country and highlights the obstacles and inequities in gaining access to healthcare. The effectiveness of the upcoming vaccination campaign will depend on its universality,” it said.

The notable signatories include former Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, American actors and social activists Matt Damon, George Clooney, Forest Whitaker and Sharon Stone. Among Nobel winners, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, South African cleric Desmond Tutu, American political activist Jodi Williams have also joined the appeal. Nobel winner in physiology or medicine Edmond Henri Fischer and Richard J Roberts are also part of the campaign.

“We urge the World Health Organization to design a World Action Plan on Covid-19 vaccine. We appeal to them to set up an international committee responsible for monitoring the vaccine research and to assure equal access to the vaccine for all countries and all people within a publicly announced pre-determined time frame,” the appeal said.

The signatories have pleaded to all world leaders including the secretary-general of the United Nations, director general of the World Health Organization, religious leaders, leaders of research laboratories and pharmaceutical companies to ensure that when the Covid-19 vaccine becomes a reality, it reaches to everybody for free.

Former presidents such as Emil Constantinescu (Romania), Ivo Josipovic (Croatia), Aleksandr Kwasniewski (Poland), Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Brazil) and formers prime ministers such as Shaukat Aziz (Pakistan), Helen Clark (New Zealand), Mahathir Mohamad (Malaysia) have signed the document, Yunus Centre said in its statement.
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