Russia is enraged by New York’s declaration that UNGA delegates must be vaccinated.
The city administration said Wednesday that all diplomats attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week will be required to provide proof of vaccination, angering Russia.
In a letter dated September 9, the mayor’s office informed the assembly president that delegates must be vaccinated before entering the debate chamber.
If they wish to eat or exercise indoors, they must also be vaccinated, according to the letter.
On Monday, New York began implementing a vaccine requirement for many indoor activities, including restaurants and entertainment venues, demanding proof of at least one shot.
The UN debate venue was categorized as a “convention center,” according to a letter signed by New York City’s health commissioner and confirmed by his spokeswoman. This means that all attendees must be vaccinated.
“They must also provide confirmation of vaccination before dining, drinking, or exercising indoors on the UN campus, as well as to participate in all of New York City’s amazing entertainment, dining, and fitness activities,” he added.
The Russian envoy requested a special meeting of the UN General Assembly on Thursday to examine the move.
Vassily Nebenzia wrote to Assembly President Abdulla Shahid on Wednesday, expressing his disappointment with a letter Shahid issued to members in which he backed the evidence of vaccination demand.
In a letter seen by AFP, Nebenzia wrote, “We strongly reject to just people with proof of vaccination being admitted to the GA hall.”
He called it a “obviously discriminatory practice,” and said it was a “clear breach of the UN charter” to deny delegates admission to the venue.
The memo also reminded diplomats that masks are required on public transportation in New York.
“Regardless of vaccination status, New York City strongly advocates universal mask wear indoors,” the message continued.
The 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly begins on Tuesday and ends on Monday.
After last year’s version was held virtually due to the pandemic, this year’s version will be a hybrid of in-person and remote events.
New York accepts all vaccines that have been approved by the World Health Organization or the Food and Drug Administration of the United States.