Duterte to address UN assembly on COVID-19 pandemic
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) – December 4, 2020 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte will join a special session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the pandemic and is expected to stress the need to ensure that developing countries will have access to anti-COVID-19 products and technologies.
He was expected to deliver the Philippine statement last night (Dec. 3 New York time) at the 31st Special Session of the UNGA that will be held virtually until today.
”The President will further amplify his call for global solidarity in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” presidential assistant for foreign affairs and protocol chief Robert Borje said in a statement.
“Of particular concern for President Duterte are universal access to anti-COVID-19 technologies and products and the need for global efforts to ensure availability of safe and effective vaccines to peoples of developing nations,” he added.
The UNGA special session comes at a time when several laboratories and pharmaceutical firms are claiming their having produced COVID-19 vaccines that are guaranteed to be more than 90 percent effective.
The Special Session is being held pursuant to Resolution 75/4 adopted by the General Assembly last Nov. 5. It aims to reaffirm the key role of the United Nations in maintaining global order especially in the face of an unprecedented global public health crisis as well as unprecedented economic problems.
During the session, the Chief Executive shall call on all nations for global solidarity in addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic, which brought about health and economic crises to all countries.
The President, in his address to the UNGA special session, shall push for the universal access to anti COVID-19 technologies and products and the need for global efforts to ensure availability of safe and effective vaccines to peoples of developing nations.
At the High Level General Debate of the 75th session of the UNGA held in September this year, Duterte said “safe and effective vaccines must not be denied nor withheld. It should be made available to all, rich and poor nations alike, as a matter of policy.”
He stressed that COVID-19 vaccine must be considered a global public good when he joined the collective voice of partners in ASEAN and the Non-Aligned Movement. – Alexis Romero