The Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid participated and delivered remarks at the virtual COVID-19 Global Action Plan Ministerial Meeting hosted by the Secretary of State of the United States of America, Antony Blinken yesterday.
In his remarks, Minister Shahid reflected on the achievements of the GAP initiative, which was instrumental in providing vaccines to vulnerable countries and ensuring mechanisms were in place for vaccines to be administered.
Highlighting the importance of preventing, detecting, and responding to future pandemics, Minister Shahid emphasized the importance of continuing the work to support closing the booster gap, vaccinating the most vulnerable and at-risk within the population, diversifying the production of vaccines, and actively supporting new producers and platforms for vaccines, and anti-viral medicines.
Minister Shahid also briefed the partners on the measures taken by the Government of Maldives to vaccinate 85 percent of the resident population including locals and migrants, irrespective of their status or origin.
Before concluding his statement, Minister Shahid thanked Secretary Blinken, the Government of the United States of America for their leadership in this initiative, and other partner countries and organizations in formalising assistance mechanisms to manage the continuing impacts of the pandemic, especially for vulnerable countries.
The GAP partners re-convened yesterday to assess the work of the GAP, identify remaining barriers to curbing the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, and reflect upon lessons learned to promote future collaboration to respond to future global health security threats. Along with Minister Shahid, Foreign Ministers and senior officials from Japan, Bangladesh, Germany, WHO, Republic of Korea, European Union, Oman, South Africa, Colombia, Senegal, Italy, Belize, Jamaica, Argentina, Costa Rica, African Union, India, Thailand, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Norway, Spain, Australia, Israel, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Indonesia also participated at the Ministerial Meeting.