The 12th session of the Security Council was held today in the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, which discussed the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia, the measures taken and the planned activities by the competent institutions.
The integral text of the statement of President Pendarovski is below.
The 12th session of the Security Council was held today; all members of the regular composition were present; the Minister of Health and the Director of the Intelligence Agency, who are not regular members, were also invited and attended the session.
The members of the Council discussed the activities of the competent authorities for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. You know, we are going through the most difficult phase of the pandemic so far. The capacities of the Macedonian healthcare are exhausted to maximum. The members of the Council requested use of all available resources so that every citizen can receive the necessary health care. The state must not allow any of our citizens not to be admitted to hospital. We were assured by Minister Filipce that such a thing has not happened so far, nor will it happen in the future.
I would like to thank the health professionals for their full commitment and maximum engagement and appeal to the citizens to respect the recommendations, to be conscientious and responsible. However, in this part I must say that we, the politicians, must first set an example by respecting the measures and the laws, only in that way we will have the face to demand the same from the citizens.
According to Minister Filipce, the immunization will start tomorrow. I asked the authorities to organize the vaccination process in the best order and this large-scale operation to continue until the population is fully immunized. There should be no interruptions in that process. It is not only my demand, I believe I convey the feeling of the vast majority of Macedonian citizens who are dissatisfied with what we have done so far. The pictures we saw last weekend in neighboring Serbia best illustrate this. Such images simply must not repeat, gratitude to Serbia, of course, but it was a shame for our country. The state has to find a way to vaccinate its citizens and provide them with health care here.
It is true that as a country we relied on the Covax mechanism which is more than 2 months late with deliveries; it is true that we believed in the EU Solidarity Fund which although announced for January will be operational only in April this year; it is true that none of the 5 richest members of the EU has fully vaccinated more than 5 percent of its population; it is true that according to the WHO (this figure is from March 16) about 80% of all vaccines produced in the world are distributed in only 10 countries in the world, but our citizens are not interested in that at all.
On this occasion, I would like to make a personal appeal, to call on private health care institutions to consider the possibility of giving up profits in order to make their services more accessible to those infected with Covid-19 and, if necessary, to send its medical staff to work in public health facilities. I am convinced that in times of great collective suffering we should not use anyone’s family misfortune and tragedies for personal gain and dividend distribution.
Another topic discussed today during the Security Council, I would like to appraise the agreement – yesterday’s compromise made by the presidents of SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE to postpone the census. As I suggested a few months ago, if the pandemic situation does not improve, postponing the census will do no harm to anyone. On the contrary, the vaccination will create conditions for its successful implementation, without any reason for anyone to doubt its legitimacy.
It is not unimportant for other issues, such as election legislation, conduct of local elections, unblocking the work of the Assembly and the set of laws to support economic entities and citizens in the coming period to make progress.
I expect that at the meeting announced for tomorrow with the parties that proposed amendments to the Law on Citizenship, a compromise to be also reached, because on the one hand it is not good, due to a political proposal of the opposition, the Assembly to be completely paralyzed, but, it is not good not to have a solution to the real problems of our citizens who have lived here for years, and cannot regulate their stay and exercise their rights, no matter how many people fall into that category.
In conclusion, if the immunization process does not go as announced or if the agreement between the government and the opposition is not respected, expect me to publicly point out in the coming days those who will behave irresponsibly. After a year of practical isolation and quarantine when everyone is on the brink of power, we must not once again disappoint the people who are upset by our party and political quarrels in a situation where so many of our fellow citizens die every day.
Finally, one more detail, so that there is no doubt about the immunization that starts more massively from tomorrow onwards, that one of us may abuse his position and be vaccinated first, we agreed at the Security Council from tomorrow, all of us – president, prime minister, ministers and other state officials, to register on the website of the Ministry of Health like any other citizen and when it is our turn, according to the provided categories, then we will all be vaccinated. Regardless of our position. We are, as it should be for many other things not only for this, the same with all other citizens living in this country.