Procedure : 2021/2645(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : RC-B9-0239/2021

Texts tabled :

RC-B9-0239/2021

Debates :

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

Votes :

PV 29/04/2021 - 10
PV 29/04/2021 - 19

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2021)0155

<Date>{28/04/2021}28.4.2021</Date>
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<TitreType>JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION</TitreType>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rules 144(5) and 132(4) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>


<Replacing>replacing the following motions:</Replacing>

<TablingGroups>B9‑0239/2021 (PPE)

B9‑0240/2021 (Verts/ALE)

B9‑0241/2021 (S&D)

B9‑0242/2021 (Renew)

B9‑0243/2021 (ECR)</TablingGroups>


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

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


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Željana Zovko, José Manuel Fernandes, Leopoldo López Gil, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, David McAllister, Michael Gahler, Gabriel Mato, Miriam Lexmann, Loránt Vincze, Krzysztof Hetman, Róża Thun und Hohenstein, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, David Lega, Romana Tomc, Tomáš Zdechovský, Peter Pollák, Christian Sagartz, Magdalena Adamowicz, Benoît Lutgen, Adam Jarubas, Janina Ochojska, Frances Fitzgerald, Lefteris Christoforou, Inese Vaidere, Paulo Rangel, Vangelis Meimarakis, Stanislav Polčák, Ioan‑Rareş Bogdan, Loucas Fourlas, Jiří Pospíšil, Antonio López‑Istúriz White, Eva Maydell, Michaela Šojdrová, Vladimír Bilčík</Depute>

<Commission>{PPE}on behalf of the PPE Group</Commission>

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

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

<Depute>Jordi Cañas, Dita Charanzová, Petras Auštrevičius, Malik Azmani, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Olivier Chastel, Katalin Cseh, Vlad Gheorghe, Bernard Guetta, Svenja Hahn, Moritz Körner, Javier Nart, Urmas Paet, Dragoș Pîslaru, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Michal Šimečka, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu</Depute>

<Commission>{Renew}on behalf of the Renew Group</Commission>

<Depute>Hannah Neumann, Anna Cavazzini</Depute>

<Commission>{Verts/ALE}on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group</Commission>

<Depute>Veronika Vrecionová, Raffaele Fitto, Joanna Kopcińska, Karol Karski, Elżbieta Kruk, Adam Bielan, Witold Jan Waszczykowski, Assita Kanko, Ruža Tomašić, Anna Fotyga, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Elżbieta Rafalska, Ryszard Czarnecki, Bogdan Rzońca, Angel Dzhambazki, Valdemar Tomaševski, Hermann Tertsch, Carlo Fidanza</Depute>

<Commission>{ECR}on behalf of the ECR Group</Commission>

<Depute>Fabio Massimo Castaldo</Depute>

</RepeatBlock-By>

AMENDMENTS

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

(2021/2645(RSP))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Treaty on European Union,

 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 World Health Organization (WHO) of 30 January 2020 stating that the COVID-19 outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC),

 having regard to its resolution of 13 November 2020 on the impact of COVID-19 measures on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights[1],

 having regard to the report of the European Investment Bank entitled ‘EIB Activity in 2020 – Latin America and the Caribbean’,

 having regard to the reports published by the Pan American Health Organization,

 having regard to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report of November 2020 entitled ‘COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean: An overview of government responses to the crisis’,

 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 State of the Union address delivered by President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen on 16 September 2020,

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

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 8 June 2020 on the ‘Team Europe’ global response to COVID-19,

 having regard to the European Council conclusions of 17-21 July 2020 on the recovery plan and multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027,

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 13 July 2020 on the EU priorities at the UN and the 75th UN General Assembly, under the theme ‘Championing multilateralism and a strong and effective UN that delivers for all’,

 having regard to its resolution of 25 November 2020 on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak[2],

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

 having regard to the declaration by the Co-Presidents of EuroLat of 30 March 2020 on the COVID-19 pandemic,

 having regard to its resolution of 17 April 2020 on EU coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences[3],

 having regard to the European External Action Service joint communiqué of 14 December 2020 resulting from the EU 27-Latin America and the Caribbean informal ministerial meeting,

 having regard to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) report entitled ‘Social Panorama of Latin America 2020’, published in 2021,

 having regard to the 27th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government held on 21 April 2021 in Andorra, and to the resulting declaration,

 having regard to the annual reports from the Council to the European Parliament on common foreign and security policy,

 having regard to the report of its Committee on Foreign Affairs (A9-0204/2020),

 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, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of 2007, and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders of 1998,

 having regard to International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, adopted on 27 June 1989,

 having regard to the statements of UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet of March 2020 on lifting sanctions against countries to battle the pandemic,

 having regard to the presentation by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, in Fiocruz on 15 April 2021,

 having regard to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015 and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),

 having regard to Rules 144(5) and 132(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the relations between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean are of strategic and crucial interest; whereas Latin America has been the one of the regions worst hit by COVID-19; whereas Latin America comprises 8.4 % of the world’s population but has accumulated at present more than a fifth of global deaths from coronavirus;

B. whereas the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been varied globally, including across Latin America; whereas all countries have declared a general state of emergency;

C. whereas the priority now must be to rebuild trust in multilateral institutions being able to deliver global answers, by moving forward on the discussions on the WTO Trade and Health Initiative for COVID-19 and related medical health products;

D. whereas the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on both sides of the Atlantic require close cooperation between the WTO, the WHO, UN institutions and the World Bank, which is essential to tackle the crisis and to provide solidarity; whereas a global and coordinated response is needed to face the great challenges of sustainable, green and digital recoveries that are also inclusive, fair, and resilient;

E. 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 and governments are facing increased public expenditure, at the risk of default; whereas increased access to liquidity and debt reduction must be intertwined with medium- and long-term development objectives and thus with initiatives to build forward better;

F. 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 production and distribution capacity within the COVAX initiative;

G. 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;

H. whereas the aim of the COVAX initiative is to promote and secure global access to safe, high-quality, effective and affordable vaccines; points out that for 2021, COVAX has secured vaccines for only 20 % of the world’s population and vaccine production and distribution in both Europe and Latin America must therefore be ramped up;

I. whereas Latin America began 2020 as the world’s most unequal region and this only worsened under the pandemic; whereas the poverty rate rose to 209 million by the end of 2020, which represents an additional 22 million people falling into poverty, while the number living in extreme poverty grew by 8 million, out of a total of 78 million; whereas the indices of inequality in the region worsened along with employment and labour 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;

J. 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);

K. whereas the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated gender inequalities; whereas Latin America has one of the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world and those rates have increased during the pandemic, with lockdown measures leading to a marked increase in domestic violence, rape and femicide; whereas sexual and reproductive health were not prioritised during the pandemic, posing a serious obstacle to the right to health and endangering the lives of women and girls in the region;

L. 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;

M. 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 political opposition and civil society gatherings and activities; whereas government measures have frequently undermined all basic human rights, including the civil political, social, economic and cultural rights of those in the most precarious situations; whereas COVID-19 restrictions have also impacted freedom of expression;

N. whereas the work of journalists in the region has become more difficult as a result of measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of limited physical access and reduced contact with authorities, particularly regarding their role in the fight against increasingly prevalent disinformation; whereas online disinformation, fake news 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 has played a major role in the spread of disinformation and pseudoscience;

O. whereas some governments have been particularly criticised for following 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 have been accused of ignoring the WHO core directives, best practices on pandemic management and science-based public health guidelines;

1. Reiterates its deep concern over the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on both the European and the Latin American continents and expresses its solidarity towards all the victims and their families, as well all those affected by the health, economic and social crises;

2. Expresses its deep gratitude for the service of medical workers in the region under the high pressures and risks of the coronavirus threat;

3. Calls for the governments of both regions, for the EU institutions and for Latin American integration bodies to step up bi-regional cooperation and to improve preparedness and response capacities, protection income, and access to basic healthcare and the efficient management of widespread vaccination plans;

4. Calls for the EU and its Member States to cooperate with the authorities of Latin American countries in need and deploy the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and other solidarity funding pursuant to the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 in order to tackle the pandemic; calls furthermore on the Commission to make use of Horizon Europe and other EU programmes and funds in order to foster scientific cooperation between Latin American countries and the EU, namely in the fields of health and innovation; welcomes new initiatives for regional health cooperation such as setting up a transnational institute for infectious diseases;

5. Call on all countries 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;

6. Calls on the international community to increase efforts to strengthen the distribution capacity of the COVAX initiative and to support the full funding of the COVAX Advance Market Commitment;

7. 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 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;

8. 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;

9. Takes note that according to the WHO several countries in the region have potential COVID-19 vaccine production capacities that could be scaled up subject to technology transfers;

10. Urges governments to sustain the highest levels of respect for human rights in the application of containment measures in response to the expansion of COVID 19; asks that it be ensured that the measures taken to respond to the health emergency are proportional, necessary and non-discriminatory; condemns the repressive measures taken during the pandemic, gross human rights violations and abuses against populations, including the excessive use of force by state and security forces;

11. Calls on all stakeholders to step up the fight against online disinformation, fake news and pseudoscience; calls on the governments of both regions and on international organisations 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 the fundamental freedoms of citizens;

12. 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;

13. Regrets that the COVID-19 pandemic has been heavily politicised, including negationist rhetoric 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 to the pandemic and calls on the authorities to identify and legally persecute the entities perpetrating such actions;

14. Calls for the EU and its Member States and all Latin American states to support a massive issuance of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to increase liquidity of the countries of the region in the least costly manner and to support the widening of the scope of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) of the G20 to middle-income countries;

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

 

[1] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0307.

[2] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0322.

[3] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0054.

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