APEC finds deal on vaccines, carbon but tensions persist| Today Headlines

APEC finds deal on vaccines, carbon but tensions persist

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Making coronavirus vaccines more accessible and reducing carbon emissions were two key commitments accepted by key Pacific lawmakers

Trade ministers met online for two days at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. It is hosted by New Zealand in a virtual format due to the pandemic. Officials have highlighted areas where they could reach agreement ahead of the leaders meeting later in the week.

New Zealand Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said after the meeting that members were committed, as they did last year, to jointly tackling the pandemic.

“We all know that none of us are safe until all of us are safe,” O’Connor said, adding that 17 APEC members “have lowered or completely removed tariffs on vaccines and related products, which makes them easier to access “.

In a joint statement, ministers agreed to step up efforts to manufacture and supply vaccines and support global vaccine sharing. They also said they would explore ways to ensure people can travel safely in the region to boost business, tourism and education.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said APEC members strongly support global climate commitments.

“We know that APEC has a role to play in the fight against climate change,” she said. “It is for this reason that ministers agreed to send a strong signal on the importance of stopping further spending on fossil fuel subsidies.”

Asked about tensions between APEC members, the two New Zealand ministers said this had not been discussed.

“There will always be differences between some of the member economies, but those differences are left to other forums,” O’Connor said.

Taiwan and China have both asked to join a Pacific trade pact, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, with Beijing saying it will block Taiwan’s candidacy on the grounds that Taiwan refuses to accept it as part of it. China.

And it’s still unclear whether all APEC members will support the United States’ bid to host the APEC meeting series in 2023.

Mahuta said on Wednesday that APEC was based on consensus and that there was no confirmed host yet for 2023.

“We hope to get there,” she said.

News Today World news APEC finds deal on vaccines, carbon but tensions persist

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