Hold a UN meeting virtually to avoid it becoming a big-ticket event, according to the United States
The United States has called on world leaders to present video statements to the United Nations General Assembly instead of traveling to New York for a meeting in September as the Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads around the world, a PTI reported on Sunday.
The UN General Debate, an annual gathering of the world’s politicians, is scheduled for September 21-27.
In July, the United Nations gave leaders the option to send pre-recorded speeches for the meeting in case they could not make it to New York due to Covid-related restrictions, according to the AP.
In a letter to United Nations member states last week, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, said her country has a responsibility to ensure the safety of participants.
“We need your help to prevent the UNGA [United Nations General Assembly] 76 High Performance Week to be a super broadcast event, ”she said in the letter, according to PTI. “Heads of delegation should consider presenting their statements to the general debate of the United Nations General Assembly via video. If delegations choose to travel to New York, we ask delegations to bring the minimum number of travelers necessary. “
No fewer than 127 world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, plan to attend the annual gathering in person, according to AP. Politicians attending the event include heads of state as well as ministers.
Also read: Coronavirus: India registers 30,948 new cases, 10.18% lower than the number of infections on Saturday
Meanwhile, the United States has seen an increase in Covid-19 cases. The country’s weekly infection tally crossed 10 lakh on Friday, Bloomberg reported. New York City recorded an average of 1,900 cases per day, a huge increase from the 300 cases per day in June, according to The Guardian.
Against the backdrop of the sharp rise in cases, Thomas-Greenfield called for other events related to the UN meeting to be held in virtual mode as well. She said the in-person events “would unnecessarily increase the risk to our community, New Yorkers and other travelers.”
The highly infectious Delta variant has raised worldwide concern, as the vaccines also show reduced efficacy against the strain. On Wednesday, the US Department of Health and Human Services recommended booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines for all adults, noting that the protection offered by the injections worsened over time.
Globally, Covid-19 has infected more than 21.13 crore people and resulted in more than 44.22 lakhs of deaths since the start of the pandemic in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.