Gordon Brown has called on world leaders preparing to gather at COP26 in Glasgow to “make a decision” to provide the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people with Covid vaccines.
The former prime minister was among a group including former UN general secretary Ban Ki-Moon and ex-New Zealand premier Helen Clark who this week called for world leaders to send unused vaccines from the global north to the global south and keep vaccination targets on track.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Brown said of those due to gather in Scotland: “They’re the people who control these vaccines. Make a decision, get the unused vaccines out.”
A World Health Organisation (WHO) plan to redistribute an over-supply of unused vaccines to the 92 vaccine-poor nations could deliver an extra 600 million doses to Africa and low-income countries as soon as December.
After noting that “partnerships work sometimes and they work quite well”, Brown called on Western leaders to implement the plan.
“Nobody’s really safe until everyone’s vaccinated everywhere,” the 70-year-old told GMB.
“The disease is spreading in the poorer countries, it’s going to mutate, we’re going to have new variants like Delta, they’re going to come back to haunt even the fully vaccinated here.
“It’s in all our interests to get the vaccines all around the world to everyone.”
“Now the good news is we have the vaccines, we just need to get them out to people,” he added.
Brown and more than 150 world leaders called on the Pope to intercede this week ahead of the G20 summit in Rome, which is scheduled to begin on Friday under the chairmanship of Italian premier Mario Draghi.
They asked Pope Francis to exert his influence to ensure the summit uses its “historic opportunity” to end the vaccine inequality they say is plaguing the world.