As the global pandemic continued unabated into year two, 2021 was in many ways a redux of 2020. The coronavirus delta variant took in its wake thousands of lives and wrecked economic havoc. Despite dire warnings from health experts, the slow pace and high cost of vaccine rollouts allowed the proliferation of new variants of the virus in this year. And despite the alarm sounded by scientists about accelerating climate change, governments made no commitments to real GHG emission cuts. At the same time, 2021 demonstrated again the courage, commitment, solidarity, cooperative action and mutual help by people in the face of corporate greed, official arrogance and brutal regimes.
Social movements, labour unions, civil society organisations and human rights defenders have their tasks cut out for 2022 as struggles for public health, food sovereignty, democratisation, justice and human rights intensify. An immediate and unconditional waiver of intellectual property rules for vaccines and related medicines is essential to defeat the pandemic. Governments must also urgently address the economic and climate crisis, putting people’s needs at the forefront, not private profit.
We look forward to working with all of you towards building alternatives for just social, economic, environmental and political change.
With warm wishes and solidarity
Focus on the Global South