US urges over 150 world leaders not to come to UN over COVID


UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The US is urging the greater than 150 nations planning to ship their chief or a authorities minister to New York to talk in individual on the U.N. Common Meeting subsequent month to contemplate giving a video handle as an alternative to stop the annual high-level week from turning into “a super-spreader occasion.”

A notice from the U.S. Mission despatched to the 192 different U.N. member nations additionally referred to as for all different U.N.-hosted conferences and aspect occasions to be digital, saying these parallel conferences that draw vacationers to New York “needlessly improve threat to our neighborhood, New Yorkers and the opposite vacationers.”

The U.S. notice, obtained Wednesday by The Related Press, stated the Biden administration is especially involved about Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres and the incoming Common Meeting President Abdulla Shahid internet hosting high-level in-person occasions on local weather change, vaccines, the 20th anniversary of the U.N. World Convention Towards Racism, meals methods and vitality.

“The US is prepared to make each effort to make these essential occasions on shared priorities profitable in a digital format,” the notice stated.

The U.N. determined in late July to let world leaders attend their annual gathering, often called the Common Debate, from Sept. 21-27 in individual — or to ship prerecorded speeches if COVID-19 restrictions stop them from touring.

A provisional checklist of audio system obtained by AP has 127 heads of state and authorities planning to attend in individual together with U.S. President Joe Biden, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, in addition to prime ministers Boris Johnson of Britain, Israel’s Naftali Bennett and Narendra Modi of India, and 26 different authorities ministers, together with Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov and China’s Deputy Premier Han Zheng.

Among the many 38 leaders planning prerecorded statements are the presidents of Iran, Egypt and Indonesia. The checklist has Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, coming to New York, however it’s dated Aug. 13 — simply earlier than his authorities was ousted by the Taliban and he fled the nation.

The US stated it feels “strongly that the Common Debate needs to be the one occasion held with in-person participation throughout high-level week.”

“In mild of present well being considerations, heads of delegation ought to contemplate delivering their statements to the U.N. Common Meeting’s Common Debate by video,” it stated. “If delegations select to journey to New York for the Common Debate, the US requests delegations convey the minimal variety of vacationers obligatory.”

The US stated the COVID-19 pandemic “continues to pose a big well being threat world wide,” with the virulence of the delta variant affecting each vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals and hospitalizations growing considerably in the US.

“All counties in New York Metropolis are at present rated as having the best stage of neighborhood transmission,” the U.S. notice stated.

For individuals coming to U.N. headquarters, it stated the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has really helpful obligatory masks carrying always, six toes of social distancing, mounted seating, confirmed destructive COVID-19 standing to enter the constructing, “and if potential vaccination.” Contact tracing for U.N. conferences can even be wanted, it stated.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric stated late Wednesday that the U.N. already put in place quite a lot of measures to cope with the delta variant, together with obligatory mask-wearing at U.N. headquarters and reporting of vaccination standing and optimistic COVID-19 checks. It additionally has obligatory vaccination necessities for some personnel, together with these servicing intergovernmental conferences previous to the high-level week, he stated.

Dujarric stated no in-person aspect occasions will happen within the U.N. advanced throughout high-level week, however he made no point out of the high-level occasions on local weather change, meals methods, racism and different points.

“We’re clearly in steady dialogue with member states, who should make choices, and the host nation,” Dujarric stated. “The secretary-general will proceed to concentrate on maintaining everybody within the U.N. neighborhood protected.”


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