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COVID-19, revival of economy among key focus areas for UNGA President-elect Abdulla Shahid

New Delhi: The President-elect of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid on Thursday (July 22) said his key focus areas would be recovering from COVID-19 pandemic and the revival of economies globally.

Shahid is in India for his first foreign visit in that capacity.

Calling it “presidency of hope”, Shahid said he would take into account the loss, pain, and devastation that the pandemic has caused in countries around the world.

“I choose the theme as ‘presidency of hope’, taking into account the loss, pain, and devastation that covid 19 has taken in all countries of the world,” Shahid told Zee Media.

“During the presidency, it is my submission to the international community that we build a presidency of hope on five rays of hope – recovering from COVID-19, rebuilding sustainably, reviving from the economic devastation.  We have to reform the United Nations, we have to address the climate issues and we have to respect human rights,” he added.

On asked about reforming the United Nations Security Council Shahid said, “The UNSC reform is a membership-driven process. The process, I hope, will gain momentum during my presidency.”

On the issue of terrorism, the President-elect said that the international community must come together and make sure to condemn all forms of terrorism. We can’t pick and choose when it comes to terrorism, he said.

Shahid reaffirmed the friendly ties his country Maldives has with India and thanked New Delhi for helping out with vaccines for COVID-19.

“Irrespective of the government in Male or Delhi, the special relationship has never changed. When it came to the COVID-19 crisis, India was the first responder. India made sure that when vaccines rolled out there, within 48 hours, they reached the Maldives and we started our rollout,”  he said.

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