Nauru President highlights need for strong, collective and multi-lateral response to Covid-19 pandemic

The global Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the need for improved coordination and engagement with small countries like Nauru.

And President Lionel Aingimea has highlighted the need for a strong, collective and multi-lateral response to pave the way forward to finding solutions towards mitigating the pandemic and its knock-on effects on the economy, the safety and well-being of our people and environment.

President Aingimea made the comments in a pre-recorded statement to the 31st Special Session of the UN General Assembly in response to the coronavirus pandemic in New York.

He said Nauru’s historical experience is their key to surviving this pandemic.

Adding that the country heeded the lessons of the past – “that an outbreak in one part of the world can produce a catastrophic and devastating effect on our tiny country if we do not act quickly. We are not immune to outbreaks even though we are geographically isolated from other countries.”

President Aingimea said Nauru had expressed concerns with WHO’s leadership at the outset of the pandemic.

“We found it slow in declaring the global pandemic, thus delaying the needed action. After WHO’s declaration, this government declared a State of Emergency of National Disaster and Management and Preparedness of Covid-19. And today we still remain under this State of National Disaster.”

According to President Aingimea, the pandemic further exposed the weakness of the multi-country office in the region (North Pacific) and underlined the disconnect between the ideal of a coordinated regional response and the reality of meeting the needs of smaller and more vulnerable States in the region.

‘We emphasize that in times of crisis access to resources for support in a timely manner is critical to ensure the effectiveness of a response mechanism.”

“To that end we look forward to the early establishment of a new multi-country office in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) as a positive steps towards a robust coordinated response with targeted support from the UN Development System to the small island developing states (SIDS) in the North Pacific.”

The President also highlighted Nauru’s successful capture and contain policy, which has so far kept Covid-19 out of the country.

He said the government took proactive steps to enact laws to support necessary new policies and measures to deal with the pandemic.

Nauru is Covid-19 free.


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