This week world leaders gather in New York for the Annual General Assembly of the United Nations, but the meeting has been embroiled in controversy over the refusal of some leaders to get vaccinated to attend.
“Get vaccinated for what?” Asked Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at a press conference last week. “My antibody rate is high,” said the president, who beat COVID-19 last year. “I am going to get vaccinated, with Coronavac, for example, and it will not reach that effectiveness,” said Bolsonaro, showing a document to his Minister of Health, who, however, contradicted him: “You are fine, but you need to be vaccinated.” .RELATED
In New York it is mandatory since August for those over 12 years of age to have at least one dose of the vaccine to be able to access restaurants, gyms or convention centers, but the UN headquarters is international territory and no federal law is applied, state or local if it conflicts with your standards.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, back the requirement of the city and Shipping a letter to all UN member states asking attendees to be “an example to the world” and “meet local requirements”. But it did not last long. Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia criticized the move, calling it a “clearly discriminatory” violation of the rights of nations at the UN.
After this, Secretary General Antonio Guterres told Reuters in an interview that the UN Secretariat “cannot tell a head of state that if he is not vaccinated he can not enter the United Nations.” Finally, a “honor system
At an emergency meeting in the Assembly last Thursday, Nebenzia said that people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and who have developed antibodies due to very recent cases of COVID-19 had to be thought about. He also noted that there are people who have received vaccines that do not have the approval of the World Health Organization, the city’s criteria for an acceptable inoculation. The WHO is reviewing the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, but has not approved it yet.
“If the Russian ambassador is against it, I am for it,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said last week. In addition, it reported that the city would open a testing and vaccination center at UN headquarters to offer free COVID-19 testing, as well as Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine. “If their vaccine isn’t good enough, then they should go and use one of the others,” de Blasio said.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Friday they were concerned the Assembly would turn into a “super contagion event,” according to the network. CBS.
In August, Thomas-Greenfield urged leaders to send videos of his speeches, like last year, instead of attending in person. However, more than 100 leaders will be in New York this week, although each one will only be able to take six people to the UN headquarters and only four to the Assembly hall. The world body does require vaccination of all personnel in the building during this week.