In the midst of a global pandemic, it is more important than ever to acknowledge that vaccines and routine immunizations save millions of lives each year. Canada remains committed to ensuring access to essential vaccinations, leading efforts to advance gender equality and reducing the burden of infectious diseases.
Humanity is confronted with the unprecedented threat of COVID-19. Around the world, the pandemic is having a devastating impact on health systems, economies and the lives, livelihood and wellbeing of all, particularly older people. Responding effectively to this fast-growing pandemic requires solidarity and cooperation among all governments, scientists, civil society actors and the private sector.
Canada welcomes the Sudanese government’s decision to ban female genital mutilation (FGM), and hopes that the draft law will enjoy swift ratification. We echo the Sudanese Foreign Ministry’s statement that female genital mutilation is a ‘clear violation against women and a crime against women's rights,’ and we commend the Sudanese government for taking this momentous step.
The Honourable Ms. Emanuela Claudia Del Re, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, as Chair of the Group of Friends of Food Security and Nutrition in New York, the Honourable Ms. Karina Gould, Minister of International Development of Canada, the Honourable Mr. Orlando Leite Ribeiro, Vice Minister for Trade and International Relations of the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Food Supply, and the High Level Representative of Egypt, Ambassador Mohamed Edrees Permanent Representative to the UN, today issued the following statement: “On Friday April 17th, we convened an extraordinary virtual video conference bringing together Ambassadors from across the entire membership of the United Nations with the participation of the President of the General Assembly, the Deputy Secretary General, the President of IFAD, the Executive Director of WFP, the Chief Economist and Assistant Director General of FAO and the Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit to exchange views and experiences on actions that may be taken to mitigate the potential socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 on food availability and supply and to attain food security. We thank the more than 270 participants who attended.
During the call, they agreed that a global crisis like this has the potential to exacerbate inequalities and reverse development gains. In particular, it may have devastating health outcomes for the world’s most marginalized populations.
The meeting, convened by Canada, Italy, Brazil, and Egypt, is an opportunity for UN member states and international organizations to discuss measures to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on food availability and supply, especially in developing countries.
“Canada fully supports the UN Secretary-General’s appeal for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is the time to put armed conflict on lockdown, to protect the most vulnerable and to focus our efforts together in the fight against this virus. We are proud to have led 58 countries in supporting the Secretary-General’s appeal, and we encourage all countries to do the same.”
We are concerned about the risk of discrimination, excessive use of force and violations of fundamental rights and freedoms that have already occurred in some countries during the implementation of lockdowns and mandatory isolation. While the need to protect public health is vital, it is imperative to ensure that these measures are not used to undermine the fundamental civil liberties and human rights of all people.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global threat that does not recognize borders and can only be overcome through coordinated action all around the world. Canada continues to contribute to international efforts to address the ongoing pandemic by providing urgent and necessary funding, including to support those who are most vulnerable.