The American city of New York announced, on Wednesday, that those wishing to attend the General Assembly meetings at the United Nations Headquarters, next week, to “show evidence that they have received the vaccine against the Corona virus”, while Russia strongly protested against this step.
“I have received two official letters from the New York City administration, informing representatives of Member States (193 countries) of my full support for these actions,” General Assembly President Abdullah Shahid (he took office on Tuesday) said in a statement.
He explained that “the aim of these procedures is to increase the number of people wishing to attend the meetings of the General Assembly scheduled to start next Tuesday.”
While Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “We have been briefed on the speech of the President of the General Assembly, and we will cooperate with him on any decisions that are taken.”
Dujarric said, in a press conference, that “the General Secretariat intends to set up a large tent in front of the headquarters to provide the vaccine for those who wish to participate in the meetings next week.”
While the Russian delegate, Ambassador Vasily Nebizia, said in a letter he sent to “Witness”, a copy of which was received by Anadolu Agency: “I am very surprised and disappointed by your declaration of your support for requests made by New York City to vaccinate people wishing to enter the General Assembly Hall.”
He added: “This is a discriminatory decision and contradicts the agreement signed between the United Nations and the United States of America in 1946, as the host country for the headquarters.”
And he continued: “We must take into account people who cannot receive the vaccine, due to special health conditions, or people who have received vaccines that are not recognized by the (US) Center for Disease Control.”
Nebizia stressed that “the headquarters of the United Nations is subject to the influence of the international organization, in accordance with the eighth paragraph of the host country agreement, and is not subject to US federal laws or procedures or New York state laws and procedures.”
He called for an emergency session of the General Assembly, on Thursday, to “discuss this problem.”
Since the founding of the United Nations in 1945, high-level meetings of the General Assembly begin in September of each year, as the heads of state, leaders, and kings of Member States meet in direct meetings at the organization’s headquarters in New York.