President urges world support for poorer nations to curb COVID

President urges world support for poorer nations to curb COVID

President urges world support for poorer nations to curb COVID

Written by Amani Nilar

04 Dec, 2021 | 10:01 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has thanked nations such as the U.S., India, China and Japan for their contributions for the vaccination drive, at the 5th Indian Ocean Conference in the UAE.

Pointing out the rise of the new variant OMICRON, the President said that unless the vaccination drive of poorer countries is improved, the world will have to return back to square one with lockdowns and border closures, and could even face catastrophic consequences due to the variant.

Speaking on global economic recovery, the President said that Sri Lanka finds itself at a difficult position with regard to debt repayment, and debt repayment has been especially hard on poorer countries. 

Calling for an institution to help countries navigate their economy post-pandemic, the President said that international organizations and wealthy nations could provide assistance in this regard.

At the same time, the President called for the establishment of a regional mechanism for issued relating to sustainability in the Indian Ocean. 

The President recallong the MV X-Press Pearl disaster and the MT New Diamond disaster which took place over an year ago pointed out that enormous environmental damage occurred due to these events, and stated that Sri Lanka is especially vulnerable to climate change and environmental pollution. 

Speaking further, the President stated that the Indian Ocean also faces several other risks, such as illegal migration and smuggling of drugs, and the communication lines which lie underwater are also at serious risk.

He also stated that intelligence sharing across nations is a method which can be taken as a solution against these issues.  

Watch the opening session of the conference below:

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