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Chinese diplomat on COVID-19 fight: Put people's lives and health first
update:April 13,2020

An aircraft carrying medical aid from China to help Spain combat COVID-19 arrives at Zaragoza airport in northern Spain, March 17, 2020. /Xinhua
April 13,2020 -- All countries should put people's life and health first to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on human rights, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Thursday.
Speaking at the Virtual Informal Conversation with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Outbreak of COVID-19 and its implications on human rights, Chen Xu, head of the Chinese Mission to UN Office at Geneva, said that nations should adopt effective and collective response for the real protection of people's right to life and right to health.
Noting that the international community should provide aid and support to developing countries in their response to the outbreak, he stressed that countries should immediately lift unilateral sanctions they imposed on some developing countries to prevent additional harm to the people of those countries.
All countries should pay high attention to the challenge of the pandemic on economic and social development, and take effective measures to minimize its impact, Chen added.
"They should guarantee people's basic needs as well as their economic, social and cultural rights and right to development, and guarantee the rights of women, children, the disabled, the elderly, migrants and other vulnerable groups," said the Chinese diplomat.
Regarding the stigmatization and politicization of a public health issue, Chen said the virus is a common enemy for all mankind. It respects no borders and hurts all ethnic groups.
"Instigating racial discrimination and xenophobia, and creating divisions and confrontations deliberately should be abandoned," he noted.
To jointly fight the pandemic, Chen added that China itself is actively involved in the international efforts against COVID-19 in line with the principle of building a community with a shared future for mankind.
China has sent 13 teams of medical experts to 11 countries, and held about 70 video expert conferences with more than 150 countries as well as international organizations, he said.
Chen added that China supports international organizations in playing active roles in international cooperation against the pandemic, with the World Health Organization (WHO) playing the leading and coordinating role.
According to the Chinese ambassador, in the course of one month from March 1 to early April, about 3.86 billion masks, 37 million protective suits and 2.84 million testing sets for COVID-19 have been exported from China.
"China is taking real action to promote international public health cooperation. This in itself is a significant contribution to the international human rights cause," he added.
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