President Surangel Whipps Jr. is leading a delegation from Palau to the 76th United Nations General Assembly in New York from Sept.21 to 26.
According to the Office of the President, President Whipps and his delegation will consist of First Lady Valerie N. Remengesau Whipps, Chief of Staff Landisang L. Kotaro, Our Ocean Conference Secretariat Bridge Thomas, Senator Jonathan “Cio” Isechal, Delegate Sebastian Marino, Palau UN Ambassador Ilana V. Seid and Palau Ambassador to the United States Hersey Kyota.
President Whipps will be delivering his address on September 22, 2021 at 7 a.m.Palau time. This will also be his first attendance at the UNGA since he was elected in 2020.
Whipps joins the other world leaders who will be attending the meeting in person this year, with an expected focus on combatting climate change, and COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to COVID-19, last year’s gathering was held with most leaders sending pre-recorded videos or their New York-based U.N. ambassadors deliver statements.
Leaders are also expected to highlight their countries vaccination rollout with Palau having the distinction of leading the United States on COVID-19 statistics with 90 percent of the population having been fully vaccinated.
According to the Ministry of Health and Human Services (MHHS) COVID-19 situation report as of Sept 20, there are 15,869 individuals fully vaccinated, including 14,644 adults and 1,226 adolescents.
According to the New York Times vaccination tracker, Palau as of Sept.17 is on top of the statistics seconded by Vermont State with 69 percent of its population of over 1 million fully vaccinated.
Whipps has earlier said Palau is protected with its high vaccination rate. (B. Carreon)