U.N. General Assembly: World Leaders Address Covid-19 Crisis
By WSJ Staff
Heads of state and United Nations leaders addressed the U.N.
General Assembly on Tuesday on the Covid-19 pandemic, laying blame
and finding fault -- and imploring the body to work together to
fight the virus. Here are some excerpts:
As we pursue this bright future, we must hold accountable the
nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China.
In the earliest days of the virus, China locked down travel
domestically while allowing flights to leave China and infect the
world. China condemned my travel ban on their country, even as they
canceled domestic flights and locked citizens in their homes.
The Chinese government, and the World Health Organization --
which is virtually controlled by China -- falsely declared that
there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. Later, they
falsely said people without symptoms would not spread the
The United Nations must hold China accountable for their
Chinese President Xi Jinping
Facing the virus, we should enhance solidarity and get the world
together. We should follow the guidance of science, give full play
to the role of the World Health Organization, and launch a joint
international response to beat this pandemic. Any attempt of
politicizing the issue or stigmatization must be rejected.
Several vaccines developed by China are in Phase 3 clinical
trials. When their development is completed and ready for use these
vaccines will be made a global public good and made available to
other developing countries on a priority basis.
Major countries should act like major countries. They should
provide more public goods, take up their dual responsibilities, and
live up to peoples' expectations.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
As was the case in much of the world, segments of the Brazilian
media have also politicized the virus by spreading panic among the
population. Under the mottoes "stay at home" and "we will deal with
the economy later on," they almost brought about social chaos to
The pandemic teaches us a major lesson, which is that we cannot
possibly depend on just a few nations for the production of
essential inputs and means for our survival.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
We have seen how ineffective the existing global mechanisms have
been during this crisis. This was so much true that it took weeks,
even months, for the Security Council, the most fundamental
decision-making body of the United Nations, to include the pandemic
on its agenda.
At the beginning of the pandemic, a scene emerged where
countries were left on their own. Thus, we have once again seen the
rightfulness of the, "The World is bigger than Five" thesis, which
I have been advocating for years from this rostrum. The fate of
humanity cannot be left at the mercy of a limited number of
Secretary-General António Guterres
If we are to uphold our pledge "to leave no one behind" we must
redouble our efforts in our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with
a particular attention to the needs of the countries in special
situations, including the [least developed countries]. Covid
vaccines must be distributed fairly and equitably.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 22, 2020 12:12 ET (16:12 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.