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President Iván Duque Addresses 73rd Assembly of World Health Organization

‘I have no doubt that the great message from this pandemic is not that we return to the way we were before, but that we come out better as a society,’ Says Colombian Head of State

Washington, DC — Colombian President Iván Duque addressed the Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO), focusing on how the world can work together to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and come out a better society. Highlights of President Duque’s remarks include:

· … [T]his exceptional situation puts us in the great challenge of our history. There can be no conflict between the protection of life and health and the social and economic development of our in our countries. …

· That is why, in these difficult times, we have to face the pandemic with optimism. And that means taking seriously the threat of the virus, but at the same time being clear that, if we are disciplined enough, collaborative and articulate enough, we can successfully face this situation.

· This is how we have tried to do it in Colombia. We have taken difficult, hard, drastic measures, but we have also seen that this has allowed us, in the number of deaths per million inhabitants, to find our country in a favorable position. …

· We are, of course, aware that we have other challenges — the challenge of restarting our economy, of protecting the most vulnerable populations and of learning lessons so that we are better prepared in the future for crises such as these.

· I have no doubt that the great message from this pandemic is not that we return to the way we were before, but that we come out better as a society …. For this reason, I invite the WHO and all member countries to face this pandemic with a greater sense of international cooperation and protect those who need it most.

During the Assembly, the WHO announced its 11-member Executive Board, which includes Colombia as well as Botswana, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, India, Madagascar, Oman, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and The United Kingdom.

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