Vice President Harris implored world leaders meeting in Paris on Thursday to view the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to examine how to address global inequality.
Harris spoke at the Paris Peace Forum, an annual gathering of political and private sector leaders, where she focused her remarks on the need for collaboration to eliminate gender inequality, wealth inequality and food inequality.
He noted that the pandemic has exacerbated many of those problems, with school closures threatening access to education for children and highlighting disparities in internet access, and economic problems hampering progress in closing the gaps between men and women. in the workforce.
“We have been in a global pandemic for almost two years … but the pandemic has also presented us with an opportunity,” Harris said in prepared remarks. “An opportunity because many in our world who perhaps did not see the gaps clearly now, and the call on leaders to bridge the gaps is becoming more urgent and insistent.”
“These growing gaps are unacceptable and we must agree to work together to bridge them,” added Harris. “And here I want to be clear: this is not about charity. It is about our duty and what we owe to each other as human beings. This is also a strategic imperative.”
Harris argued that the world was too interconnected for nations to avoid collaborating on 21st century problems, noting how the pandemic could quickly spread across borders and how emissions from one country can harm the environment around the world. .
He urged world leaders to prioritize equality, arguing that the Biden administration had done so during his first 10 months in office.
Harris suggested that the $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill recently passed by Congress would address inequality through investments in roads, bridges and public transportation and by replacing lead pipes in communities across the country. And he argued that the White House framework for a $ 1.75 trillion reconciliation package would advance the fight against inequality with investments in climate programs, family care and child care.
“Together, these bills are designed to lift people out of poverty,” Harris said.
Harris said the reconciliation bill was “ready to pass soon.” But it is unclear if there is enough support in the Senate for that to happen, particularly as Sen. Joe manchinJoe ManchinOn The Money – Biden’s Battle with Inflation Telehealth was a godsend during the pandemic; Congress should keep innovation going Biden takes an inflation hit MORE (DW.Va.) has warned against moving too fast with such a big package.
Addressing inequality has been a key theme in Harris’ international appearances when he traveled to Vietnam, Guatemala and Mexico. His stop at the Paris Peace Forum, which was founded in 2018 as a call for multilateralism to address global conflicts and issues, was part of a multi-day stay in Paris. She previously met with French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronHillicon Valley – Justice Department Faces Uber Harris, Macron Unveils New Initiatives On Space And Cybersecurity After Meeting The Hill 12:30 Report: All Eyes On Trial By Rittenhouse homicide MORE, where the two brushed questions about lingering tensions related to a submarine deal the United States negotiated with the United Kingdom and Australia.