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UN to require world leaders be vaccinated in order to speak before assembly

All diplomats attending the UN general assembly in New York next week will have to provide proof of vaccination, prompting outrage from Russia.

Updated: September 15, 2021 - 11:28pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

World leaders are now facing a new hurdle if they want to speak before the U.N. General Assembly next week: vaccination.

According to the Associated Press, New York City officials have told the U.N. that in order to meet in person, and without masks, all the leaders present would need to be vaccinated.

This had quickly caused an outcry from at least one member nation. 

This is the first time the global diplomatic summit will be held in person since the pandemic began.

General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid embraced the vaccination requirement in a letter Tuesday, calling it “an important step in our return to a fully-functional General Assembly.”

But Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia blasted the vaccine demand, saying it’s a “clearly discriminatory” infringement on nations’ sovereign rights at the U.N.

It is not yet clear how the vaccination mandate will be enforced since many of the leaders who will be present received vaccines that are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization.

The most common vaccine that isn’t approved is Russia’s SputnikV. This vaccine was widely distributed throughout Latin American and Asia.

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