Address of His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to the 31st Special Session of the General Assembly, in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, United Nations Headquarters, 3rd – 4thDecember 2020
The magnificence of multilateralism
The Co-operative Republic of Guyana welcomes this 31st Special Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We applaud the efforts which have been made by the United Nations in responding to this pandemic, particularly the UN’s humanitarian and socio-economic response and its ongoing efforts for a Post-COVID-19 Recovery Plan.
The United Nations has demonstrated the efficiency and necessity of global cooperation. It has been in the forefront of efforts to help countries mitigate the effects of this pandemic. The United Nations efforts represent one of history’s greatest rescue missions.
This 31st Special Session comes at a time when the world eagerly awaits the authorization of vaccines which have been developed to help in the public health fight against the coronavirus. The United Nations must continue to be in the forefront – as it has been over the past 8 months – in piloting the international rollout of mass immunization for developing countries.
The pandemic has presented difficulties for all segments of our society, particularly our children. Most of them have been out of school for months and their normal childhood routines have been constricted.
Guyana recognizes the impact which the pandemic has had on them. As such, we join in supporting UNICEF’s Six-Point Plan which provides a response aimed at ensuring that our children are protected and are catered for in the global recovery efforts which will follow the remission of this pandemic.
Guyana hereby commits to:
– ensuring that our children are able to continue to learn by closing the national digital divide;
– enabling improved primary health care and access to vaccine by children;
– eradicating child poverty;
– effecting, where necessary, mental health-support interventions for children and young people;
– enacting greater protections and support-measures for vulnerable children; and
– encouraging access to improved water, hygiene and sanitation.
The pandemic has emphasized the need for change in global relations. In this regard, I wish to reiterate my support for the United Nations Secretary General’s call for a New Global Deal with a New Social Contract.
As I noted in my intervention to the Meeting of Heads of Government and States on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond, a New Global Deal will allow for the effective transfer of resources – financial, intellectual and technological – to developing countries, and facilitate also, a fairer sharing of the benefits of globalization.
A New Social Contract will guarantee the more effective use of these resources for sustainable development.
A new era will soon be upon us. The world looks forward to beating this pandemic and hastening international recovery. This process will be made easier by the ushering in of a new era in global relations, one which will herald the magnificence of multilateralism, spearheaded by the United Nations.
I thank you and continue to stay safe. God bless you all.