Hun Sen Calls on World Leaders not to Politicize the Pandemic

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Dec. 3 called on superpowers not to use the COVID-19 pandemic for geopolitical gain.​ Screenshot from PM Hun Sen's Facebook.
  • Phoung Vantha
  • December 4, 2020 7:42 AM

Speaking during the UN special session on COVID-19, he said that vaccines must be available to all countries

PHNOM PENH--Prime Minister Hun Sen on Dec. 3 called on superpowers not to use the COVID-19 pandemic for geopolitical gain.

Speaking during the 31st Extraordinary Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on “Responses to Covid-19 Pandemic” on Dec. 3, he said, “[w]hile lives of millions of people around the world are at risks, no country shall politicize the public health issue and denounce the ability to contain the spread of this infectious disease as it would not add any benefit to the fight against this pandemic.”

Regional and global solidarity and unity are indispensable elements in the fight against COVID-19, Hun Sen said, according to a Cambodian-government press release and video of his speech issued on Dec. 4.

This UN special session held Dec. 3 and 4 has consisted of a general debate on the pandemic as well as interactive dialogues with experts, scientists and UN agencies.   

Combatting this global pandemic requires joint and prudent decision-making, under the framework of multilateralism, while respecting international laws and the sovereignty of each individual nation regardless of its size or wealth, with the United Nations and the World Health Organization as the core agencies, Hun Sen said.

"I would like to reiterate Cambodia’s support for the roles of the United Nations and the World Health Organization in their global efforts to respond and fight against this pandemic." he said, " Moreover, Cambodia would like to underline the importance and the urgency of the COVID-19 vaccine as a global public good, which its supply and distribution shall be carried out in a humanitarian spirit for all countries, especially the most vulnerable ones."

Although this public health crisis will be over in the near future, all nations must continue addressing these challenges during the period of economic recovery, Hun Sen said, adding that Cambodia fully supports the initiative of the UN Secretary-General's COVID-19 Response and Recovery Trust Fund, which was launched earlier this year.

"Indeed, aide could be a small part of recovery process, while the most crucial factors are maintaining multilateralism, globalization, trade liberalism, regional and global supply chain, cross-border trades, investment, international tourism and people mobility," he said.

Volkan Bozkir, president of the UN General Assembly, also pointed out during the meeting that this pandemic is much more than a health issue. “COVID-19 is a global health crisis…It is also an economic crisis, a development crisis, a humanitarian crisis and a human rights crisis. It revealed the structural inequalities and disproportionately affected the most vulnerable members of our societies.

“The special session provides a historic moment for us to come together to beat COVID-19,” Bozkir said, according to a UN press release on Dec. 2.

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