The Security Council today announced the adoption of a resolution calling for strengthened international cooperation to facilitate equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, and during complex humanitarian emergencies.
Acting through its special silence procedure enacted during the pandemic, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2565 (2021), recognizing the role of extensive immunization against COVID-19 as a global public good for health. It stressed the need to develop international partnerships, particularly to scale-up manufacturing and distribution capabilities, in recognition of differing national contexts.
By other terms, it reiterated its demand for a general and immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations on its agenda, demanding as well that all parties to armed conflicts engage immediately in a durable, extensive, and sustained humanitarian pause to facilitate the equitable, safe and unhindered delivery and distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations in areas of armed conflict.
Reaffirming that these calls do not apply to military operations against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), Al-Qaida and Al-Nusra Front, or their associates, the Council demanded that all parties to armed conflicts fully comply with their obligations under international law.
Further, the Council requested the Secretary-General to provide a full assessment of the impediments to vaccine accessibility and the COVID-19 response, including vaccination programmes, in situations of armed conflict and complex humanitarian emergencies — and as necessary, make recommendations to the Council. It expressed its intention to review situations brought to its attention by the Secretary-General where hostilities and armed group activities are impeding COVID‑19 vaccination and to consider what further measures may be necessary to ensure such impediments are removed, and hostilities paused to enable vaccination.
It emphasized the urgent need for “solidarity, equity and efficacy”, inviting donation of vaccine doses from developed economies and all those in a position to do so to low- and middle-income countries and other countries in need, particularly through the COVAX Facility — a global mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
[Security Council resolutions are currently adopted through a written procedure vote under temporary, extraordinary and provisional measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as set out in a letter (document S/2020/253) by its President for March 2020 (China).]