WASHINGTON, KOMPAS.com – World leaders used the 75th Annual UN General Assembly to share their individual take on the coronavirus pandemic while offering an abundance of solutions to combat the novel virus.
This year’s UN General Assembly was forcibly reduced to recorded speeches due to the pandemic which resulted in heads of states using it as an opportunity to depict the pandemic from the vantage points of their nations and themselves.
Many took advantage of the UN platform to present their visions of efforts to fight the virus and advocate what they believe must be done.
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A smattering of myriad ideas from speeches on Tuesday, the first day of the general debate:
— South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called for a suspension of interest payments on African nations’ debt and a renewed focus on eradicating global poverty.
— Chilean President Sebastián Piñera called on powerful nations to work together and stop generating “a worrisome lack of leadership”.
— Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte echoed a call from many leaders when he said that once an effective vaccine is developed, it must be made available to all nations.
Not surprisingly in such speeches, aimed at both domestic audiences and the international community, heads of state were presenting their own efforts in a favorable light while sometimes harshly criticizing other countries or taking jabs at the United Nations.
This year’s theme — “reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism” — comes at a time of extreme physical isolation between citizens in respective countries and between nations, a moment when international travel has declined sharply.