Yunus urges world as he receives Olympic Laurel

Ensure vaccine equality, break wall of profit

Ensure vaccine equality, break wall of profit

Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus has reiterated the call for ensuring vaccine equality around the world.

"We're talking much to make the vaccine patent-free. We're working to get the patent out of the vaccine because the vaccine is a wall of profit and the wall of profit makes it tough for people to get the vaccine," said Prof Yunus.

He made the remarks when asked about what he expects from the international community to ensure vaccines for all in a recent media briefing.

Yesterday, Prof Yunus received the Olympic Laurel as only the second person in history during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.

The distinction was created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to honour outstanding individuals for their achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport.

In his reaction through social media, the Noble laureate said he was "honoured and overwhelmed" to receive the Olympic Laurel.

"I'm honoured and overwhelmed to receive this Olympic Laurel. And so sad I can't be there with you."

The IOC is taking the social dimension of sports very seriously, Prof Yunus shared on his verified Facebook page yesterday.

"You, athletes of the world, can provide the leadership in transforming this world," he said.

He called for creating a world of three zeros -- zero net carbon emission, zero wealth concentration to end poverty and once for all, zero unemployment by unleashing the power of entrepreneurship in everyone.

He wished the IOC success with its mission to help transform the world to a more peaceful world through sport.

Prof Yunus is also the recipient of numerous international awards for his ideas and endeavours. He is a member of the board of the United Nations Foundation.

In 2006, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding Grameen Bank, which pioneered the concepts of microcredit and microfinance for people living in poverty.

The first-ever Olympic Laurel was awarded to the Kenyan Olympian and social changemaker Kip Keino on August 5, 2016, during the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro.

Initiated for Rio 2016, the Olympic Laurel is to be awarded at the opening ceremony of each summer edition of the Olympic Games.