STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR SIR RONALD SANDERS – HEAD OF DELEGATION OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA TO THE 50TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES ON 20TH OCTOBER 2020:
This 50th General Assembly should have been an occasion for great celebrationInstead, it is being held under a cloud of fear and uncertainty that hangs over the entire planet.
In the words of the UN Secretary-General, “a microscopic virus has brought the world to its knees, laying bare its fragilities”.
The world will not get up, it will not stand up, unless all nations large and small, act together.
As long as the novel coronavirus lives among any community of mankind; all mankind remains endangered.
It looms large across the globe, jumping across the divides of national borders and defying the belief that rich nations can survive while poorer nations succumb.
Even the most powerful countries have been unable to stop the spread of the virus.
And narrow nationalist policies that undermine international cooperation will make matters worse not better.
Of course, the poor and vulnerable countries are already the first to suffer from the economic impact of COVID-19.
There are no trends identifiable today, no programmes or policies that offer hope of narrowing the gap between rich and poor, let alone of bridging it.
The countries of the Caribbean from which no pandemic has ever originated and from which no international financial crisis has ever begun, are among the hardest hit.