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Chinese envoy calls for global efforts to fight COVID-19
update:September 10,2020
UNITED NATIONS, Sept.10,2020 -- A Chinese envoy on Wednesday called for global efforts to fight COVID-19 through the cessation of hostilities, the removal of unilateral sanctions and the promotion of peace through development.
Today, COVID-19 is still raging across the world and some countries are seeing a rebound and even a looming second wave. Nothing is more important and urgent than combating the virus, containing the pandemic, saving lives and restoring peace, said Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations. "China calls on all parties to fully implement Resolution 2532 to achieve a global cease-fire and step up efforts to fight the pandemic."
Security Council Resolution 2532 on COVID-19 demands an immediate cessation of hostilities and a humanitarian pause of at least 90 consecutive days.
Geng asked parties to conflict to put aside animosity, lay down their arms, and stop fighting immediately and unconditionally. In countries or regions where cease-fires have been reached, the Security Council, the secretary-general's envoys and relevant peacekeeping operations should seize the opportunity to push forward the political process and create conditions for reconciliation and lasting peace.
Unilateral sanctions should be lifted to lessen the sufferings of affected peoples. The pandemic is a natural disaster, while unilateral sanction is a man-made one, he told a Security Council meeting on the impact of COVID-19 on peace and security.
Unilateral sanctions seriously undermine the capacity of targeted countries in responding to the pandemic and exacerbate the suffering of innocent civilians, especially women and children, said Geng. "We urge relevant countries to immediately lift unilateral coercive measures out of humanitarian consideration, in responding to the appeal of the secretary-general and the international community. We encourage the (UN) Secretariat to assess the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on targeted countries, and the Security Council to explore ways to tackle it based on the assessment."
He also asked for efforts to promote peace through development.
Conflict-affected countries are the weakest link in this fight. The pandemic could reverse the peacebuilding and development gains made by conflict-affected countries, plunge them into conflicts with larger scale and greater depth, he said.
The international community should help these countries keep the economy and society running while fighting the pandemic, help them advance peacebuilding processes while engaging in humanitarian pause, so as to achieve a lasting peace by accelerating development and eradicating the root causes of conflict, he said.
Life should be put first and foremost and humanitarian assistance be increased, said Geng.
To mitigate the pandemic's impact on fragile countries and fragile peoples, the World Health Organization (WHO) should be encouraged to play a leading role in the fight against COVID-19. There is a need to support the WHO, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and other agencies in conducting their work in conflict-affected countries, he said.
The UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19 still has a funding gap of 7.95 million U.S. dollars. Substantive inputs from the international community are badly needed, he said.
The pandemic reminds the world once again that the well-being and future of all countries are interconnected. Solidarity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon in the global fight against COVID-19, said Geng.
The practices of politicization, labeling, stigmatization, selfishness, calling white black and blame-shifting will backfire. They cannot save lives, nor can they contain the pandemic. They can only bring more troubles, he said.
Countries should respect science, increase trust, take up responsibilities, and join hands with each other to fight the pandemic and build a community of health for all, said Geng.
In the spirit of putting lives first, nationwide solidarity, sacrifice, respecting science and a sense of mission for humanity, China prevents and contains the pandemic in a comprehensive, prompt and effective manner, he said.
China not only cares about the life and health of its own people, but also the global public health. To promote international cooperation and support the global fight against the pandemic, China has sent 34 medical expert teams to 32 countries, provided 283 batches of anti-epidemic supplies to 150 countries and four international organizations, and exported medical supplies to more than 200 countries, said Geng.
Last week, at the Group of 20 foreign ministers' meeting, China launched an initiative to facilitate cross-border flow of people and goods, and proposed an international mechanism on mutual recognition of COVID-related health certification. China looks forward to forming and implementing these schemes and is ready to contribute to the revitalization of the world economy, he said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the World Health Assembly in May that COVID-19 vaccine developed by China will be made a global public good and shared with other countries, Geng said.
During this pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is safe. To make the vaccines accessible to everyone is the only way to realize universal health, he said. "We should stick to win-win concept rather than zero-sum mentality. Vaccines should not be stockpiled or monopolized, should not be used to benefit oneself at the sacrifice of others, nor can it be used as political tools. We hope to see countries cooperate with each other to advance vaccines development and production, and make vaccines accessible and affordable to all."
China is ready to join hands with other countries to implement Resolution 2532, form a united front against the pandemic, and build a community of shared future for mankind, he said.
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