United Nations Convenes High-Level COVID Response Session for Vulnerable Countries

Washington DC – The United Nations convened on COVID response and development needs for vulnerable, small island and landlocked countries. The President of the Economic and Social Council, Pakistan Ambassador Munir Akram organized the high-level event to focus on countries struggling with specific disadvantages from the crisis.

“Small islands, poor countries and landlocked nations faced considerable risks and vulnerabilities before the pandemic struck,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network and one of the primary speakers at the session. “The COVID pandemic made the situation worse and too many countries are left out of global agreements to deal with the crisis."

The pandemic set back progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, targets the international community adopted in 2015, for the countries discussed during the special UN session today.

“These countries struggle to provide vaccines and lack aid to support jobs, address climate change and feed their people,” noted LeCompte.

High-level speakers at the session include Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda; Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados; José Ulisses de Pina Correia e Silva, Prime Minister of Cabo Verde; Eisenhower Nduwa Mkaka, M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malawi; Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney-General and the Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises, Civil Service, Communications and the Minister responsible for Climate Change of Fiji; Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United  Nations  and  Co-Chair  of  the  Preparatory  Committee  for  the  Fifth  UN  Conference on LDCs; Baroness Patricia J. Scotland QC, Secretary-General, Commonwealth Secretariat; Lindsey Zuluaga, White House Director for International Economic Policy, National Security Council, USA; Jose Antonio Ocampo, Chairperson of the Committee for Development Policy of the Economic and Social Council; Mr. Umberto de Pretto, Secretary General of the International Road Transport Union; Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network and Fekitamoeloa Utoikamanu, Under-Secretary General and Special Representative of the Office for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

The UN session takes place from 10:00 to 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM New York Eastern Daylight Time.

Read the schedule and speakers here.

View the special UN session live and see recordings here.

Read Jubilee USA Network Executive Director Eric LeCompte's Speech here