Unvaccinated Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he will deliver the opening speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Tuesday, despite rules requiring him to be vaccinated to be in the assembly hall.
Bolsonaro, who traveled to New York City late Sunday afternoon, previously said in a live broadcast on his social media that he wouldn’t get vaccinated before attending the UNGA.
“Why do you take a vaccine? To have antibodies, right? My antibodies rate is really high. I can show you the document,” the president said.
Bolsonaro then claimed that a vaccine such as CoronaVac would not be effective for him and added, “I will decide my future after everyone in Brazil gets the vaccine.”
The UN is not barring anyone from entering the UNGA, UN Secretary-General spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told CNN Sunday.
Dujarric explained to reporters Friday that “the honor system, as laid out by the President of the General Assembly, says that, by swiping a badge to enter the General Assembly Hall, delegates attest that they are fully vaccinated, that they have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last ten days, have no symptoms.”
Dujarric also said Thursday that UN Secretary-General António Guterres has limited jurisdiction in imposing New York City vaccine mandate protocols for member states representatives attending the UNGA’s 76th meeting. He also noted Thursday that he’s “working with the sitting President of the General Assembly to continue that honor system [of vaccinations] in a way that is acceptable for all.”
The spokesperson added that the UN has taken several mitigation measures including implementing mandatory mask usage, mandatory vaccination for UN staff and limiting the delegation size in the General Assembly hall to ensure that the high level meeting is as safe as possible.