PRESS BRIEFING BY BRENDEN VARMA, SPOKESPERSON FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT VOLKAN BOZKIR
PRESIDENT WELCOMES 1ST COVAX SHIPMENT AS LIFESAVING VACCINES ARRIVE IN GHANA
- The President said this morning that he was heartened by the news from COVAX as its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Ghana.
- He stressed that multilateral efforts are key in the fight against the pandemic. And in that context, he thanked the World Health Organization; UNICEF; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI); and all partners.
HUMAN RIGHTS & SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ARE SYMBIOTIC
- This morning the President convened an informal meeting of the General Assembly to hear a briefing by the Secretary-General on his Call to Action for Human Rights, which he launched one year ago. The meeting was requested by the Secretary-General.
- In opening remarks, the President said the Call to Action recognizes human rights as central to confronting our most pressing issues and meeting the targets of the 2030 Agenda.
- He added, “Sustainable development and human rights, are symbiotic; we simply cannot make gains in one area if we neglect the other.”
- He said, “In times of crisis, conflict, peace and pandemic, a human rights-based approach is the right approach.”
PRESIDENT CALLS FOR INTEGRATION OF EYE CARE INTO NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICES
- This morning the President addressed the Friends of Vision, a group of Member States that works to advance the issue of eye health within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- He noted to the group that supporting those with vision impairment helps to reduce inequalities, as 90% of all those with untreated vision loss reside in low- and middle-income countries.
- He also called for stronger integration of eye care within national health services – to ensure that the eye care needs of more people are addressed through prevention, early detection, treatment and rehabilitation.