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Procedure : 2021/2645(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0242/2021

Texts tabled :

B9-0242/2021

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>B9‑0242/2021</NoDocSe>
PDF 165kWORD 50k

<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 the COVID-19 Pandemic in Latin America</Titre>

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


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Jordi Cañas, Dita Charanzová, Petras Auštrevičius, Malik Azmani, Olivier Chastel, Klemen Grošelj, Bernard Guetta, Karin Karlsbro, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Karen Melchior, Javier Nart, Urmas Paet, Dragoș Pîslaru, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Michal Šimečka, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu, Dragoş Tudorache, Hilde Vautmans</Depute>

<Commission>{Renew}on behalf of the Renew 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.

B9‑0242/2021

European Parliament resolution on the COVID-19 Pandemic in Latin America

(2021/2645(RSP))

The European Parliament,

-  having regard having regard to its previous resolutions on Covid 19 and on Latin America;

-  having regard to Communiqué of Eurolat Co-Presidents of 14 December 2020 on the EU-LAC Ministerial Meeting

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

-  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 its resolution of 17 April 2020 on EU coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences,

-  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 8 April 2020 on the Global EU response to COVID-19 (JOIN(2020)0011),

-  having regard to the Declaration of 30 March 2020 by the Co-Presidents of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat) on the COVID-19 pandemic,

-  having regard to the declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of 30 January 2020 that the COVID-19 outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC),

-  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 report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A9-0204/2020)

-  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

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

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

 

 

  1. Whereas Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the regions that has suffered the most the devastating effects of the pandemic;
  2. Whereas Latin America and the Caribbean comprise approximately 8.45% of the worldwide population, with around 650 million citizens; as of mid-April, 2021, the region had almost 26.7 million confirmed cases (our of 143,445,675 confirmed cases worldwide) and over 846,000 deaths ( out of 3,051,736 deaths worldwide); whereas examining deaths per 100,000 population, Peru has the highest rate in the region, followed by Brazil, Mexico, Panama, and Colombia
  3. Whereas reliable scientific models forecast deaths in the region could reach 1.2 million by August 1, 2021;
  4. Whereas the key to bringing Latin America out of the pandemic is the same as it is everywhere else: sanitary measures, testing campaigns, access to vaccines and efficient vaccination programs; 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 vaccine;
  5. 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;
  6. Whereas COVID-19 pandemic is having widespread economic, social, and political effects across  Latin America;
  7. Whereas in some Latin American countries, as in many parts of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has also been used as a pretext for repression, disproportionately restricted opposition gatherings and  activities; as a result, authorities have lashed out against those who have dared to expose and criticise inadequate government responses to the pandemic, or used COVID-19 related measures and other existing legislation to silence those who defend human rights;
  8. Whereas authorities in many cases are also struggling, under very difficult circumstances, to bring solutions to the health, economic and human rights crises that were pre-existing in the region and have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic; whereas many public servants and health workers continue to work tirelessly to protect the health of the population;
  9. Whereas several governments have urged the international community and the EU for support in the acquisition of essential products in the fight against the pandemic, such as ventilators, medicines or personal protective equipment, as well as equitable access to vaccines and tests;
  10. Whereas Latin America has faced a "perfect storm" that has damaged domestic activity, tax revenues, international trade and remittances with GDP projected to fall by 7.7 per cent, or in the cases of countries such as Argentina and Peru 12 per cent or more.; whereas Governments are facing increased public expenditure, at the risk of default.
  11. Whereas a new strain of the SARS-COV-2 was detected in Manaus, Amazonas State, Brazil, in November 2020; whereas recent medical evidence suggest this strain is particularly more virulent and hence more contagious than other strains; whereas this strain has been detected in 37 countries;
  12. Whereas the WHO has declared Latin America, and most recently Brazil as the new epicentre of the pandemic; whereas this has led to several countries to close their borders in an effort to stop the spreading of the pandemic; 
  13. Whereas the Mexican government has been particularly criticised for its management and trivialisation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has one of the highest infection rates in Latin America;
  14. Whereas the Brazil federal government has been particularly criticised to follow hazardous political paths concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, showing opposition to regional and local sanitary initiatives, including threats to send in the army to curb local lockdown and restrictions and accused of ignoring the WHO core directives and best practices on pandemic management and science-based public health guidelines;
  15. Whereas the Nicaraguan government has been particularly criticised for downplaying the COVID-19 pandemic and for considering this a  problem only for foreign people, within a policy of secrecy and non-transparency; whereas health care workers lack appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves and gowns, access to testing is rare, businesses have remained open, and the government holds events with large crowds;
  16. Whereas repression in Cuba has visibly increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the government using regulations and restrictions designed to prevent the spread of Covid to instead harass and imprison critics; whereas the past few months have seen unprecedented demonstrations for more cultural freedom of artists and activists; whereas the abuses during medical missions of Cuban doctors has also received more attention; whereas since March 2020, Cuba has sent more than 1,500 medical professionals across the world to help fight the pandemic, joining another 30,000 already deployed abroad; whereas the strict rules imposed on these doctors violate their rights to privacy, freedom of expression and association, liberty and movement, with UN special rapporteurs on contemporary forms of slavery citing in November 2019 their conditions "could amount to forced labour";
  17. Whereas Venezuela is particularly vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic because of its ongoing socioeconomic and political crisis created by Maduro’s illegal regime causing massive shortages of food staples and basic necessities, including medical supplies, the mass emigration of Venezuelan doctors has also caused chronic staff shortages in hospitals; whereas the regime is spreading detrimental COVID-19 disinformation promoting obscure oral solution as a ‘miracle’ to cure the virus, without evidence;
  18. Whereas the EU has comprehensive agreements governing commercial and association relations with nearly all of Latin America and the Caribbean, with the exception of Bolivia and Venezuela.

 

  1. Expresses overwhelming regret for all the victims that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused in Latin America, particularly the elderly, and its solidarity to those that are yet to recover from these devastating consequences; considers that the shortage of vaccines, equipment and specific medicines to address the rising number of people infected with COVID-19 have must be the priority for any Government;
  2. Underlines that progress towards the elimination of the COVID-19 pandemic will only be possible through close multilateral coordination and the cooperation of the entire international community;
  3. Calls on the international community to increase efforts into the strengthening of the distribution capacity the COVAX initiative and to support the full funding of the COVAX Advance Market Commitment;
  4. 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.
  5. Notes the transparency and authorisation mechanism for exports of COVID-19 vaccines established by the European Commission on 31 January 2021 and extended until the end of June 2021 owing to persistent vaccine delivery delays by some companies contractually bound by advance purchase agreements with the EU; Point out that supplies of vaccines for humanitarian aid purposes and for the 92 low- and middle-income countries that are part of the COVAX scheme, including 10 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, are excluded from this mechanism; notes, further, that almost all vaccine export requests submitted so far have been accepted, including exports of some 6 million vaccine doses to 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries;
  6. Considers it essential to step up regional coordination in Latin America and the Caribbean with a view to tackling the COVID-19 crisis, 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; points out that sanitary measures such as the wearing of masks, access to tests, and health protocols including access to oxygen, are also key to fighting the pandemic and should be included in the framework of this cooperation;
  7. Regrets the budgetary reduction in the framework of the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument instruments for the Geographical component allocated to the Americas and the Caribbean, from 3.99 bn euros to 3.39 bn euros, as proposed by the Council; calls therefore on the Council and the Commission to prioritise their engagement with Latin America and develop a strategic approach with the region;
  8. Calls on the Commission and the EEAS to provide for a specific engagement on knowledge transfer and crisis response action and planning, building on current EU legislative proposals such as the Cross-border health threat Regulation, in order to help Latin American countries become better prepared in the event of future pandemics;
  9. Endorses calls for vaccine manufacturers to boost efforts to increase and expand vaccine production in developing and emerging countries; points out that for 2021, COVAX has secured vaccines for only 20% of the world’s population and therefore vaccine production and distribution in both Europe and Latin America must therefore be ramped up;
  10. Call on governments to redouble their efforts to promote access to and the equitable distribution of vaccines and tests, treatment and medical equipment for the entire population, including support from other civil society actors and economic organisations whenever the competent authorities see fit, in full compliance with the health criteria and requirements set by national authorities for the population as a whole; Calls on the governments of Latin America to engage in a peaceful and constructive dialogue with their local and regional authorities in the common fight against the virus;
  11. Reiterates that the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean must make a decisive contribution to international efforts to overcome the multifaceted challenges posed by the pandemic; calls, in this regard, for dialogue to be stepped up between the two regions on how to respond to the technical, financial and logistical challenges presented by the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and on how to improve existing initiatives and instruments with a view to the development of more effective and comprehensive vaccination strategies;
  12. Calls on Latin American countries to implement policies to ensure availability, access, affordability, acceptability, and quality of COVID19 vaccines for all people, including indigenous populations, according to the principles of transparency, participation, accountability, equality, and non-discrimination, and devise national vaccination plans accordingly; in addition to criteria identified by the World Health Organisation SAGE Roadmap, factors may include social, environmental and occupational risks, and the impact of systemic discrimination; invites them to follow science-based management of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and implement  national strategies for testing and contact tracing aiming at the pandemic control;
  13. Urges the Latin American countries to ensure that access to accurate information in the implementation of plans and that specialised protocols are developed for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in indigenous populations, ensuring these plans are fully consulted with indigenous peoples and obtain their free, prior and informed consent;
  14. Expects from Latin American counties to provide accurate information on COVID-19 vaccines based on clear and scientific data, avoiding the dissemination of misinformation;
  15. Calls on Latin American countries to ensure that health systems have sufficient health workers across geographic areas and adequately trained to work with individuals and communities and to follow and implement without further ado the different World Health Organisation protocols concerning the COVID-19 pandemic management;
  16. 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;
  17. Demands Latin American countries to enable and support human rights defenders, civil society organizations and journalist to contribute to the efforts to protect public health and tackle the pandemic, and to continue with their human rights work more generally;
  18. Regrets that the COVID-19 pandemic has been heavily politicised, including negationist rethorics or downplay of the severity of the situation by Heads of State and Government, and calls on political leaders to act responsibly in order to prevent further escalations; considers worrisome the disinformation campaigns related with to pandemic and calls on the authorities to identify and legally persecute the entities perpetrating such actions;
  19. Calls on European and Latin American Governments to continue promoting a rules-based, open, inclusive, fair and non-discriminatory multilateral trade and cooperation system in the framework of the WTO and other international fora.
  20. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Eurolat Parliamentary Assembly, and to the authorities and parliaments of the Latin American countries.

 

 

 

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