Pacific 

Bangladesh urges greater international action on Rohingya status

Bangladesh is hosting more than one million Rohingya, a mainly Muslim minority community who are stateless, most of whom fled following a wave of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017.  “More than three years have elapsed. Regrettably, not a single Rohingya could be repatriated. The problem was created by Myanmar, and its solution must be found in Myanmar. I request the international community to play a more effective role for a solution to the crisis,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in a pre-recorded speech to the UN General Assembly…

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Pacific 

UN reform is ‘the need of the hour’: India premier

The international community must ask if the UN is still relevant 75 years after its founding, said Mr. Modi, noting that despite the Organization’s achievements, including the avoidance of a Third World War, there have since been many conflicts, and today’s challenges are vastly different from those of the past. The Indian leader went on to question whether the Organization has been effective in tackling COVID-19, asking “where is the United Nations in this joint fight against the pandemic? Where is its effective response?” Whilst India’s respect for the Organization…

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Pacific 

COVID-19 a litmus test of global unity, Thai Prime Minister tells world leaders

Addressing the Assembly’s annual high-level debate via a pre-recorded video, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha called on the leaders to “remain steadfast and not be shaken by nationalist sentiments or anti-globalization tendencies.”  The global crisis, he said, should motivate us to “unite as one”, since it has been proven that no nation can face the challenges alone.  “Such is the future we want.”  COVID-19 response  In his address, Prime Minister Prayut reaffirmed the Thai Government’s commitment to control the spread of COVID-19, informing the Assembly of its efforts to that effect,…

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Pacific 

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, world needs masks, not weapons, declares Prime Minister of Nepal

“As we embark on the Decade of Action to implement the 2030 Agenda [for Sustainable Development], the current crisis has pushed us to the brink of losing the gains made in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli told world leaders, via a pre-recorded video message.  Landlocked, least developed and small nations – which are more susceptible to drop-offs in tourism, remittances and supply chain disruptions – are facing obstacles in the provisions of resources, social protections and health services, he said.  “Poverty is increasing, mostly…

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Pacific 

Japan to ‘proactively lead’ on COVID-19 response efforts

“As we face the current crisis, and guided by the principle of human security, I think it is essential to set the goal of ‘leaving no one’s health behind’ as we work towards achieving universal health coverage,” he said in a pre-recorded speech to the UN General Assembly on Friday.   Based on this shared goal, Mr. Suga said Japan will “proactively lead” international efforts focused on three areas, with safeguarding lives topping the list.    Supporting developing nations  He told world leaders gathered virtually for the Assembly’s annual high-level…

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Pacific 

Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan warns of rising Islamophobia

In a pre-recorded video address to the Assembly’s annual high-level debate, Prime Minister Imran Khan, highlighted the importance of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.  “This is also a time for us to reflect whether as the United Nations, we have been able to realize the promise we made collectively to our peoples,” he said.  Amid multifaceted threats to the foundations of the world order, the only way forward is through cooperation and not confrontation, he said, reaffirming his support for multilateralism.  Fighting the coronavirus pandemic  In his address,…

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Pacific 

Through solidarity, humanity will overcome COVID-19 pandemic: Timor-Leste President

In a video pre-recorded for the event, Francisco Guterres also highlighted the need for global solidarity to defeat the crisis.  “I am deeply convinced that together in a genuine spirt of solidarity, humankind will overcome this challenge,” he said.  President Guterres reported on steps his administration has taken in the battle against COVID-19, including closing borders, establishing quarantine and isolation units, and dispatching teams to educate communities about the disease.  The authorities worked in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and received support from international partners.  Addressing structural weaknesses …

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Pacific 

Viet Nam is ‘duty-bound’ to help strengthen the UN, world’s largest multilateral organization

Although the leaders of Member States have been unable to gather in person for the General Debate, President Nguyen Phu Trong said that “does not diminish our resolve and ability to deliberate and seek solutions for issues of common concern”. In a pre-recorded video address to the Assembly’s annual debate, being held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said the UN must serve as the “incubator” for multilateral cooperation initiatives for peace, development and prosperity.  “Further reforms should be undertaken to transform the UN into a stronger…

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Pacific 

‘COVID-19 has exposed our past mistakes and failures’ says Kazakhstan President

Mr. Tokayev described a “critical collapse of global cooperation” in response to the crisis, as well as a lack of mutual confidence, a misunderstanding of international competition, trade wars, and sanctions which, he said, are undermining the prospects and hopes for a better world. In a pre-recorded address to the Assembly’s virtual gathering of leaders, the Kazakh premier put forward a series of recommendations for dealing the pandemic at an international level.  These involved building a strong global health system; reaching a global agreement to protect global production and supply…

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Pacific 

Sri Lankan President calls on WHO to facilitate ‘universal access’ to COVID vaccine

In a pre-recorded address to the United Nations General Assembly’s annual debate, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa explained that his Government’s “inclusive, non-discriminatory and holistic” measures were key to saving lives and protecting people’s health.  These measures include, financially supporting low-income families, pensioners, persons with disabilities, day-wage earners, farmers, and disadvantaged groups, and managing the repatriation of Sri Lankans in a coordinated manner, he said.  President Rajapaksa also voiced his country’s support to the work of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), calling on the UN heath agency to facilitate “universal access”…

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