Minister of Foreign Affairs Narayan Khadka said the current pandemic was a common global problem and called for a strong push to make vaccines accessible and affordable to all.

Addressing the High-Level Thematic Debate on Galvanizing Momentum for Universal Vaccination through a pre-recorded video this evening, Khadka said that universal vaccination was the only reliable assurance for prevention of the pandemic. "We must focus on the realisation of this goal and promotion of vaccine equity," he said.

He underscored the colossal economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in poor countries and emphasised scaling up resources to enable the poorest countries to launch a resilient and people-centred recovery package to revive their economies.

While highlighting the progress achieved in vaccination in Nepal, he said, "We have set the target of vaccinating all of our citizens above the age of 12 by mid-April this year".

He also expressed sincere gratitude to neighbours and other friendly countries, development partners and the GAVI COVAX for their generous support of vaccines to Nepal.

The debate was organised by the president of the general assembly focusing on the recovery from COVID-19 as the priority theme of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Leaders from more than 120 countries participated in the event.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 27, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.