Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou Wednesday told the United Nations' 76th General Assembly that the COVID-19 pandemic has “finally shown and revealed strengths and weaknesses” in the world.
During his ten-minute message, the Uruguayan leader, who unlike his Argentine colleague Alberto Fernández, did attend the UN's amphitheatre in New York City, drew the spotlight towards the inequitable supply of vaccines, human rights violations and responsible freedom.
Almost two years ago the world changed completely, Lacalle pointed out. It affected all nations throughout the planet: the rich, the poor, the great, the young, the developed ones and those who were not.”
Lacalle also highlighted “that there was no plan and each country faced the pandemic with different recipes.”
“The results are known, they have varied in different countries even with similar measures, he added. But in the fight against the same disease, Lacalle underscored his preference for “the democratic quality and the vocation for freedom of different governments and societies, as the right approach.
What has been demonstrated in this pandemic, if it was necessary, is that unequal access to tools means that freedom can be enjoyed in different ways. The false dichotomy between the presence of the State and freedom has fallen to the ground,” he stressed.
In countries where the State fulfils the role of protection well, the most vulnerable of individuals can access tools to exercise their freedom, he added.
In Uruguay, in my country, the people demonstrated that with the use of responsible freedom we are managing an important section of the pandemic without major setbacks, he went on.
Regarding vaccines, Lacalle Pou acknowledged that they were developed in record time. Despite that, there has been a deficit” in the supply of vaccines. “Countries had to go out and buy each one on their own. I think it is important to emphasize this because the vaccination process is vital to regaining freedom in our countries, he explained.
Lacalle also focused his speech on human rights, as he had done during the weekend in Mexico City during the Celac Summit. “It is clear that we respect the principle of non-intervention, but they will understand that we cannot be ignored in reporting these violations. Defective power is detrimental to freedoms,” said the Uruguayan leader who also spoke of “authoritarian governments which fear their peoples and fear freedom and end up impoverishing their people for several generations.”