Global COVID-19 Summit

Remarks by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at Summit on Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc delivered a speech at the Global COVID-19 Summit hosted by US President Joe Biden in New York on September 22 (local time). The following is the full text of the President’s remarks.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly. (Photo: VNA)
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly. (Photo: VNA)

“Ladies and gentlemen,

I wish to thank President Joe Biden for the initiative to convene this important Summit on Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better. Particularly, it took place at a time when the pandemic is claiming the lives and damaging the livelihood of the people, taking away decades of accomplishments accumulated by many countries, including ASEAN members, and resulting in several socio-economic crises across various regions.

I concur with the major directions and concrete goals initiated by President Biden at this Summit.

Facing such adversary, I believe that it is our top priority to protect the life and well-being of the people. To this end, we need to take bolder action in ensuring early detection, fast contact tracing, timely quarantine and effective treatment. It is also necessary to improve testing capacity, gain sufficient access to oxygen, ventilators and medications, and especially provide large-scale vaccination.

As such, we need to step up global cooperation, make further investment in bolstering the resilience of our healthcare systems, and improve industries specialized in producing medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, especially in developing countries. I welcome the establishment of a Global Health Security Fund, for it would help mobilise sufficient resources for these endeavors.

I believe that expanded vaccination programmes, combined with the use of effective medications, is key to contain the pandemic, protect the life of the people, and foster economic recovery and development.

We need to step up vaccine R&D capacity, including through the establishment of vaccine production hubs and networks in the region. This can be achieved through working closely in producing vaccines and transferring technology to developing countries, thereby removing barriers that hinder vaccine supplies. Vietnam stands ready to join in these efforts.

Given the rapid transmission of COVID-19, particularly its new variants, we need to ensure greater access to vaccines, especially for developing countries. I highly appreciate the role of COVAX, and the donation of vaccines to Vietnam by many countries. I do hope that COVAX and vaccine manufacturing countries will supply more vaccines to developing countries, with a view to vaccinating at minimum 70% of their population at the earliest, ideally before the UNGA’s session next year.

On its part, Vietnam is implementing its nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign. To promote equal access to vaccines, we also donated US$500,000 to the COVAX Facility. Vietnam will continue to contribute to COVAX in the future.

At the regional level, Vietnam and fellow ASEAN countries have established the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund in 2020. Recently, ASEAN has decided to use 10.5 million USD from this Fund to purchase vaccines for its members.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a major challenge in the history of mankind. It requires concerted efforts and close cooperation on a global scale. I am confident that, together, we can overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, protect the life of the people, and build back better.”