The United Nations says Pacific Island countries have been spared the devastating health impacts of Covid-19 because of their swift preventative measures.

PACIFIC18 Sep 2020

UN commends Pacific’s swift response to pandemic

5:57 pm on 18 September 2020 Share this 

The United Nations says Pacific Island countries have been spared the devastating health impacts of Covid-19 because of their swift preventative measures.United Nations Pacific co-ordinator Sanaka Samarasinha (right) meets  members of the Market Vendors Association in western Viti Levu in Fiji.

United Nations Pacific co-ordinator Sanaka Samarasinha (right) meets members of the Market Vendors Association in western Viti Levu in Fiji. Photo: Supplied

Marking International Day of Democracy this week, the UN’s resident co-ordinator in the Pacific, Sanaka Samarasinha, said most countries had declared national states of emergencies and public health alerts.

Mr Samarasinha said these also increased the powers of each state to put in place measures that limited public gatherings, movement and assembly.

But he said the scale of the economic, social and political impacts had yet to be fully assessed.

Samarasinha said it’s crucial the processes of enforcement of these emergency measures adhere to key democratic principles.

He said the Pacific “had a strong responsibility to strike a balance between Covid-19 preventative measures and responses, while protecting democratic processes and civic space with full respect for human rights and the rule of law.

“Responsive, transparent and accountable Covid-19 responses are critical to democracy.

“Communities have been bearing the brunt of the impact of the pandemic, placing considerable strains on social cohesion, magnifying existing inequality and further creating social divide.”

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