Pandemic ‘warning bell’ exposed inequalities, governance gaps, says Viet Nam President

The United Nations

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten lives and livelihoods globally, the President of Viet Nam told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that his nation is “vigorously” combating the virus, protecting its people, sustaining economic growth and leaving no one behind.

Noting that no statistical figures can truly measure the grief and loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the contagion has sounded “a warning bell of shocking destruction”, exposing global governance shortcomings and increasing inequality among nations.

UN’s ‘key role’

Acknowledging that COVID-19 was not the only global challenge, the Vietnamese President painted a gloomy picture of wars, territory and resource disputes, and a disregard for international law.

“What really motivates us are the strong desire for peace, cooperation and development among the people around the globe, and the deep perception of nations on the importance of international solidarity and multilateralism”, he said.

With its 75-year experience in “preserving peace and nurturing friendly, just and equitable international relations”, the head of State lauded the UN for continuing to assert its “key role” in multilateralism and effectively coordinating concerted efforts to address the global challenges that cannot be resolved by any single country acting alone.

Tasks and solutions

Shining a light on the “urgent task” of expeditiously containing the pandemic, the President stated that vaccine allocation should be prioritized for nations with low inoculation rates.

He saw resilience-building – based upon cooperation and connectivity among nations – as key in containing the virus and fostering economic recovery.

Mr. Xuan Phuc also underscored the need to transform challenges into development opportunities, including in digitalization and new technologies.

“It is also a chance for us to pursue green transformation, sustainable development, trade and investment facilitation”, he said.

Combatting the climate crisis

Cooperation in mitigating and preventing the dire impacts of climate change has become more crucial than ever before, President Xuan Phuc said, stressing that developing countries should receive further financing and capacity-building assistance to reduce emissions and enhance disaster prevention in ways that foster transition towards green and circular economy.

“This is a shared opportunity for us to ensure the harmony between man and green nature”, he said.

Joining hands

Post-pandemic recovery and growth require sustained peace, security and stability, according to the President, who called upon all countries to “strive towards a global ceasefire, put a stop to all violence, ensure the safety of civilians, and facilitate humanitarian assistance in areas of conflicts”.

Despite the “bumpy” path ahead, he said that Viet Nam would continue to “join hands with the world’s people” to defeat the pandemic and “build a world of peace, prosperity and happiness for all”.

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