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Procedure : 2021/2645(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0241/2021

Texts tabled :

B9-0241/2021

Debates :

PV 29/04/2021 - 9.1
CRE 29/04/2021 - 9.1

Votes :

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2021)0155

<Date>{27/04/2021}27.4.2021</Date>
<NoDocSe>B9‑0241/2021</NoDocSe>
PDF 185kWORD 53k

<TitreType>MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION</TitreType>

<TitreSuite>with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>


<Titre>on COVID 19 pandemic in Latin America</Titre>

<DocRef>(2021/2645(RSP))</DocRef>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Marek Belka, Isabel Santos, Maria‑Manuel Leitão‑Marques</Depute>

<Commission>{S&D}on behalf of the S&D Group</Commission>

</RepeatBlock-By>

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0239/2021
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

B9‑0241/2021

European Parliament resolution on COVID 19 pandemic in Latin America

(2021/2645(RSP))

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the statement of 11 March 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring Covid-19 a pandemic,

 

-  having regard to the Declaration by the High Representative Josep Borrell, on behalf of the European Union, on human rights in the times of the coronavirus pandemic of 5 May 2020

 

-  having regard to Council conclusions on ‘Team Europe’ Global Response to COVID-19 of 8 June 2020,

 

-  having regard to the European Parliament resolution of 25 November 2020 on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak[1]

 

-  having regard to the Declaration of the Co-Presidents of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat) on a comprehensive and bi-regional EU-LAC strategy to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, of 5 November 2020

 

-  having regard to the Joint Communiqué: EU 27 - Latin America and Caribbean Informal Ministerial Meeting, 14 December 2020

 

-  having regard to the report Social Panorama of Latin America, Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), 2021.

 

-  having regard to the XXVII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government on 21 April 2021 in Andorra and its Declaration,

-  having regard to the “Comunicado especial sobre el desarrollo de iniciativas para la recuperación económica post covid-19”, XXVII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government on 21 April 2021

 

-  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other UN human rights treaties and instruments,

 

-  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

 

-  having regard to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015,

 

-  having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,

 

 

  1. whereas the relations between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean are of strategic and crucial interest; whereas Latin America has been the region worst hit by COVID-19, with over 26 million cases and near 1 million deaths (896,566 as from 25 April): whereas with only 8% of the global population, Latin America accounts for more than a quarter of global casualties;

 

  1. whereas the poverty rate rose to 209 million by the end of 2020, which is 22 million more people than in the previous year; whereas of that total, 78 million people found themselves living in extreme poverty, or 8 million more than in 2019, this is, extreme poverty rate was 12.5% while the poverty rate affected 33.7% of the population;  whereas the indices of inequality in the region worsened along with employment and labor participation rates, among women above all, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and despite the emergency social protection measures that countries have adopted to halt this phenomenon.

 

  1. whereas Covid-19 disproportionately affects low and middle-income and developing countries and groups in situations of vulnerability, including women and girls, the elderly, minorities and indigenous communities, eroding health and development gains, thus hampering the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

 

  1. whereas the pandemic intensified the crisis of violence against women and girls across the Americas, with lockdown measures leading to a marked increase in domestic violence, rape and femicide; whereas sexual and reproductive health were not prioritized during the pandemic with abortion still criminalized in most countries (the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica and Nicaragua), posing a serious obstacle to the right to health and endangering the lives of women and girls in the region;

 

  1. whereas 10,558 health workers across the Americas had died from COVID-19 as of 5 March 2021, with health professionals in almost every country complaining about their governments’ failure to provide safe working conditions and sufficient personal protective equipment;

 

  1. whereas governments in the region implemented 263 emergency social protection measures in 2020, reaching 49.4% of the population, which is approximately 84 million households or 326 million people; whereas without these measures, the incidence of extreme poverty would have surged to 15.8% and that of poverty, to 37.2% of the population;

 

  1. whereas government measures frequently undermined the social, economic and cultural rights of those in the most precarious situations; whereas COVID-19 restrictions also impacted freedom of expression, which remained under threat in Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Uruguay, Venezuela and Mexico; whereas the pandemic and states’ response to it presented an array of new challenges and threats for Human Rights Defender’s, indigenous peoples’, migrants,  LGTBIQ’s and other communities;

 

  1. whereas online disinformation and pseudoscience have been a big driver of the pandemic in Latin America, as part of the “infodemic” as defined by the World Health Organization; whereas concrete examples of this range from quack and miracle covid-19 “cures” to political attacks and hate campaigns against certain communities and minorities; whereas social media have played a major role in the spread of disinformation and pseudoscience;

 

  1. whereas indigenous peoples were heavily affected by COVID-19 because of inadequate access to clean water, sanitation, health services, social benefits, and a lack of culturally appropriate mechanisms to protect their rights to health and livelihoods; whereas indigenous peoples’ rights remained under threat, with many governments failing to ensure their free, prior and informed consent before greenlighting major extractive, agricultural and infrastructure projects that affect them;

 

  1. whereas vaccines should be considered as a global public good that can only be provided through a multilateral approach, because no one is safe until everyone is safe;  whereas  global access to Covid-19 vaccines, and the urgency of fighting the root causes of inequality through a comprehensive, multidimensional and forward-looking response are the current major challenges for the bilateral relation; whereas the first round of COVAX allocations of vaccine supplies includes 31 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that in the coming months should receive more than 27 million doses of the vaccines;

 

  1. Whereas the COVAX initiative, coordinated by the World Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the Coalition for the Promotion of Innovations for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO), has to date administered around 38 million doses; whereas there is a clear need to boost the production and distribution capacity within the COVAX initiative;

 

  1. whereas Cuba  is developing five potential covid-19 vaccines; whereas, despite the  sixty years’ of US embargo, if these are successful, the state owned technology  BioCubaFarma could produce 100m doses by the end of the year;

 

  1. whereas the EU and its Member States have committed  total of over 2.4bn€ to the LAC region for Covid-19, through the Team Europe, to emergency response, strengthening health, water and sanitation systems and addressing the socio-economic consequences;

 

  1. whereas the effects of the pandemic and the policies implemented in response have increased the liquidity needs of the countries of the region to confront the emergency phase; whereas these factors have led to rising debt levels: whereas Latin America and the Caribbean is the most indebted region of the developing world; whereas increased access to liquidity and debt reduction must be intertwined with medium- and long-run development objectives and thus with initiatives to build forward better.

 

  1. whereas Brazil, which has the second highest death toll in the world from Covid-19 (over 390,000), with daily death rates reaching up to 4,000 in recent days and new variants storming the country; whereas last month the number of deaths in Brazil amounted to 25% of the global death toll, while the Brazilian population is less than 3% of the world total; whereas medical systems all over the country are on the verge of collapse and intensive care units are at or near capacity with 24 states having intensive care units’ occupancy rate of over 80% and in 19 states it is 90% or more and in 6 states it exceeds 100%; whereas in March, 496 people lost their lives while on the waiting list for ICU in the state of Sao Paulo alone; whereas the extent of the crisis is so deep that between February 2020 and 15 March 2021, Covid-19 killed at least 852 of Brazil's children up to the age of nine, including 518 babies under one year old, some doctors estimate that this number can be as high as 2.060 children under nine years old, including 1,302 babies;

 

  1. whereas the pandemic has been politicized in Brazil and the government has not adopted science-based measures to bring it under control; whereas the lack of planning and coordination between federal health authorities and the state and their municipal counterparts is having life or death consequences; whereas President Jair Bolsonaro has been constantly downplaying the Covid-19 pandemic,

 

  1. whereas the Brazilian Supreme Court ordered the Senate to open an investigation into President Bolsonaro’s mishandling of the pandemic; whereas many governors including Sao Paulo’s Joao Doria, have tried to encourage federal government to support isolation measures, but President Bolsonaro accuses them of being “tyrants” that are just causing political games and he continues to oppose lockdowns, even filing suits in the Supreme Court against states that decide to impose tighter lockdown measures;

 

  1. whereas the politicization of vaccination campaigns is harmful for Brazil, the region and the world, especially in the particular context of the pandemic in Brazil, with the P.1 variant; whereas his recent change of mind regarding the importance of vaccination won’t undo the damage done by months of anti-vaccination declarations

 

 

  1. whereas the devastating effects of the COVID19 pandemic  in both sides of the Atlantic require a multilateral coordination strategy to provide solidarity and a global and coordinated response to face the great challenge of sustainable, green, digital recovery that it is also inclusive, fair, and resilient;
     
  2. whereas Latin America and the Caribbean and its vaccination campaigns have been explored for political gains by major global powers, with damaging results for trust in vaccines, vaccine uptake and ultimately the health of Latin Americans.

 

 

  1. Express their solidarity with and sympathy towards all the victims and their families, as well all those affected by the health, economic and social crises caused by the pandemic; and their appreciation of all health professionals for their efforts to save lives and fight the pandemic, as well as of all those working to keep our societies and essential services functioning.

 

  1. Calls on the Commission to keep engaging with Latin American countries, establish enhanced cooperation to tackle COVID-19, help with the recovery plans and support these countries politically with a view to preventing their excessive dependence on aid from other geopolitical players; calls for the European Union and its Member States to implement Agenda 2030 and the SDGs as a roadmap for the recovery;

 

  1. Recognises the leading role played by the EU and its Member States in efforts to secure fair and equitable access to safe and effective vaccines in low- and middle-income countries through the COVAX mechanism, including the recent announcement of an additional contribution of EUR 500 million, bringing the EU’s financial contribution to COVAX to a total of EUR 1 billion in direct grants and guarantees; notes that, as the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the EU Member States have pledged more than EUR 2.2 billion to the COVAX Facility, the EU is one of its main contributors;

 

  1. Call on all states and governments to secure free access to vaccines for the whole population without undue delay, securing sufficient vaccine supplies, promoting equitable access to them and moving forward as quickly as possible with vaccination campaigns, which are now under way; proposes, to that end, strengthening regional and/or sub-regional coordination mechanisms with a view to streamlining the procurement and effective distribution of vaccines and stepping up research to support their development and production;

 

  1. Welcomes new initiatives for regional health cooperation such as setting up a transnational institute for infectious diseases; welcomes the announcement made during the Ibero American Summit of 21 April  2020 by Spain donating 7,5 million vaccines to the region: supports the reinforced EU cooperation with the region to ensure equitable access to vaccines through  the COVAX Facility;  

 

  1. Urges Latin American countries to make vaccines available to all regardless of migratory status, to take urgent action to reinforce vaccine distribution for irregular migrants and refugees as well as people working in the informal sector and living in informal settlements, and to allow for those that do not have a national identity document to register for inoculation with no administrative delays; commends in this regard actions such the Temporary Protection Statute for Venezuelan Migrants in Colombia or the ongoing relocation operation - Operação Acolhida - in Brazil;

 

  1. Calls on the governments of both regions, on the EU institutions and on Latin American integration bodies to step up bi-regional cooperation and strengthen bilateral cooperation instruments in areas such as development cooperation, humanitarian aid, health, science, research and technology, and social programmes, including by exchanging good practices and technical assistance, in order to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, reduce inequality and strengthen public health systems.
     
  2. Stresses the increased socio-economic and health effect of the pandemic on the local communities, indigenous peoples; is concerned of the increased conflicts and violence perpetrated against these communities; urges to include the protection of human rights in the overall response scheme to the pandemic, with a special view to the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities;

 

  1. Calls on all stakeholders to step up the fight against online disinformation and pseudoscience; calls on the governments of both regions and on international organizations to engage with online platforms to find effective solutions tackling the “infodemic”; welcomes the creation of PortalCheck.org, a new online resource-hub for fact-checkers in Latin America and the Caribbean to address COVID-19 disinformation supported by the European Union;.notes, however, that governments should refrain from using the fight against disinformation to supress political speech and limit fundamental freedoms of citizens.

 

  1. Recalls the essential role that international and regional financial institutions, including the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Latin American Development Bank (CAF) and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), are called upon to play in financing the investments needed for the post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and calls the EIB to adopt social and environmental sustainability criteria comparable to those of the European Commission when granting loans and investing in projects, under the supervision of democratic institutions such as the European Parliament.

 

  1. Calls on the EU and its Member States and all Latin American states to support a massive issuance of  IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to increase liquidity of the countries of the region at least costly manner and to support the widening of the scope of the  Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) of the Group of Twenty (G20)  to middle income countries .

 

  1. Calls on the US administration to withdraw measures aimed at establishing trade barriers, and ban tariffs, quotas, non-tariff measures directed at Cuba, noting that they are obstructing humanitarian responses to help this country combat COVID-19;

 

  1. Calls on the governments of the region to implement policies to ensure availability, access, affordability, acceptability, and quality of COVID19 vaccines for all people according to the principles of transparency, participation, accountability, equality, and non-discrimination.

 

  1. In view of the ongoing vaccination campaign, calls on the LAC governments to provide accurate information on COVID-19 vaccines based on clear and scientific data, avoiding the dissemination of misinformation that lacks evidence and to ensure efficient coordination between all levels of government, including municipal, state and national, guaranteeing that public servants are properly informed and trained to carry out the national vaccination pans  calls on the EU to support this endeavour with  technical and financial means.

 

 

  1. Notes with concern the excessive socio-economic and health repercussions of the covid-19 pandemic on the Brazilian population, having a direct effect on their basic human rights, including the right to health, the right to social security; urges the Brazilian authorities to acknowledge the severity of the crisis and convene a centralized and coordinated response to the covid-19 pandemic, observing the recommendations of international bodies such as the WHO, adopting science-based measures to promote and implement protective guidelines, reducing unnecessary deaths and preventing the total collapse of the medical facilities;

 

  1. Stresses the danger that allowing the virus to spread unchecked represents not only for the Brazilian population but also to all its neighboring countries and to the rest of the world, due to the possibility of development of new variants of the virus, like the already discovered P.1 variant which emerged in Manaus, and the need to impose stricter measures of containment to any traveler that comes from Brazil;

 

  1. Welcomes the decision of the Brazilian Senate to launch an inquiry into his government's handling of the pandemic, in an attempt to assess the responsibilities of President Bolsonaro and the federal government;

 

  1. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the VicePresident of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and to the authorities and parliaments of the Latin American countries.

 

 

 

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