With the World still grappling with rising numbers in Coronavirus infections, Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali used his inaugural address to the United Nations General Assembly to call for more support and action to assist developing nations as they battle the disease.
“The pandemic has launched an attack on the health and well-being of our people while the economy has become a causality of this assault. This pandemic is reversing our gains on health, poverty and education. More than ever, the resolve of the United Nations is being tested and it is evident that no single country can overcome the debilitating effects alone. This reality must inform the trajectory of the United Nations so that it can support the efforts of developing countries to rebuild and to become more resilient”, the President said in his virtual address from State House.
President Ali told the UN General Assembly that there is the need for a strong multilateral system for collective action to take on the pandemic
The President said “I acknowledge the support of UN agencies in my country’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. We trust and support the efforts of the UN system to ensure fair, transparent and timely global access to preventive tools, equipment and materials for testing. In this regard, we recognize the important role of the World Health Organization in coordinating the response of the UN system and in global public health preparedness and response. We look forward to increased international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat the pandemic”
The United Nations is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year.
It is the first time in the history of the organisation that its General Assembly is being done virtually. Usually, World Leaders would travel to New York to make their speeches during the General Assembly, but all of that has changed with the presence of coronavirus.
President Ali also touched on Guyana’s case against Venezuela that is currently before the International Court of Justice. The President said Guyana remains confident in the work of the International Court.
“In March 2018, Guyana filed its application in the International Court of Justice seeking an affirmation of the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award and the international boundary that it established. We are happy to report that on the 30th of June, 2020 the ICJ held its first virtual hearing on the controversy involving Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Regrettably, Venezuela has refused to participate in the hearing. Guyana now awaits the determination of the ICJ on whether the Court has jurisdiction to proceed to hearing the merits of the case.”
The President said Guyana will continue to play its role on the global stage and remains committed to the work of the United Nations.