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UN OKs Vaccine Honor System for World Leaders

UN OKs Vaccine Honor System for World Leaders

Saturday, 18 September, 2021 - 16:45
Metal barricades line the shuttered main entrance to the United Nations headquarters in New York City, New York, US, Sept. 18, 2020. (AP)

The UN General Assembly is relying on a vaccine honor system for world leaders before they speak at next week’s meeting.

Presidents, premiers, monarchs and other dignitaries won’t have to show vaccination cards or other proof of inoculation. Assembly President Abdulla Shahid said they’ll simply attest to being vaccinated by swiping their ID badges.

The UN has been wrestling with how to implement a New York City vaccination requirement for convention centers. Russia has criticized the policy, and the first scheduled speaker, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, says he doesn’t plan to get vaccinated anytime soon. He contracted the coronavirus in July 2020.

Shahid told members earlier this week he supported the New York City policy but didn’t give details on how it would work. Shahid, a 59-year-old Maldivian, was elected president of the UN General Assembly in June.

Next week, more than 100 heads of state and government and over 20 foreign ministers have signed up to speak in person. Other nations are participating by video for the speeches, where leaders discuss global issues, spotlight domestic ones and use the world stage to court allies or assail foes. The coronavirus pandemic forced the assembly’s top-level annual meeting to go mostly virtual last year.

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