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Prime Minister John Briceño addresses United Nations General Assembly

Posted: Friday, September 24, 2021. 6:54 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Prime Minister John Briceño is addressing the United Nations General Assembly for the first time on the day before the anniversary of Belize’s accession of the supranational body.

He reiterated Belize’s support for multilateralism, warning that answers to our problems cannot be found by one nation alone; we must work together.

But there are areas to be worked on, among which he mentioned affordable financing for small states to avoid heavy debt and recommended the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) as it takes into account the specific vulnerabilities of small states.

And the problems are many. The Earth is hot, and getting hotter; floods and storms have increased, and droughts have as well.

COVID-19 brought its own ravages, but Belize looks forward to doing it’s part to save the planet, including the recent agreement to protect a large stand of forest and dedicating ourselves to conservation on land and sea, as well as a hybrid public transportation system.

Briceño also condemned the vaccine hoarding and other underhanded activity that has undermined the COVAX program even as 10 countries are responsible for 73 percent of vaccinations worldwide. We can ill afford, he said, a strengthening or further mutations of the virus that will make it even faster and deadlier to spread.

There was an obligatory mention of the Guatemalan claim and the ramping up to resolve it at the International Court of Justice and efforts to limit activity at the shared border.

Briceño expressed support for the ending of the U.S. Cuba embargo, the Palestinian state, self-determination of the Saharawi people in the Western Sahara and the travails of Haiti, including the recent poor treatment of refugees trying to enter the U.S., and ending the marginalization of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in favour of the People’s Republic of China.

And he closed with a plea to not have to repeat these laments against nationalism and lack of collective action at the next UNGA in 2023.

Also present are Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator Eamon Courtenay and CEO Amalia Mai.


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