AU, China, UN, WHO call for solidarity to combat COVID-19

The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi JinPing, Presidents of African Countries, the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organisation (WHO) have called for global solidarity to combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

They made the call on in a joint communiqué issued after a virtual Extraordinary China-Africa Summit with African Presidents on solidarity against COVID-19.

The Embassy of China in Nigeria made the communiqué available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to the communiqué, the Extraordinary Summit was centered on how to defeat COVID-19 through greater solidarity and cooperation, and to highlight an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.

The world leaders stated that the COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge to humankind, and is the most serious global public health emergency since the end of World War II.

The participants reaffirmed their commitments to take active measures to protect the health and security of each other’s nationals.

According  to the communiqué,  the world leaders also pledge to uphold their legitimate rights and interests, and promote the use of Chinese and African traditional medicine.

“After cordial and in-depth discussions, leaders attending the Summit reached the following consensus:

“We express deep concern over the unprecedented, immediate and consequent challenges posed by the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic to people around the world, especially its impact on the lives and health of the African people.

“We recognize the importance of public health issues to global peace and security and the well-being of people around the world, particularly the fact that Africa is extremely vulnerable to the ravages of this virus.

“We need solidarity and support, including resources from various parties to bolster its response to the pandemic and to support its economic and social development.

“We commend and support the UN Secretary-General’s call for a united response to COVID-19, and commit to jointly safeguard global public health security, protect the legitimate rights.

“The interests of developing countries make greater contribution to world peace and development, and build a community of health for all.

““We commend and actively support WHO’s role, under the stewardship of its Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, in leading and coordinating the global response to COVID-19,” the communiqué stated.

According  to the communiqué, Jinping pledges China’s commitment within the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) framework, to extending mutual support on issues regarding each other’s core interests and major concerns.

“The participants also called on the international community to scale up political and financial support for the WHO.

“We welcome the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution on COVID-19 response, which expresses deep concerns about the negative impacts and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We emphasize the importance of global collaboration, and calls for intensified international cooperation, unity, solidarity and joint efforts to contain and mitigate the pandemic, and to pay particular attention to the needs of people in vulnerable situations.

“We reiterate opposition to the politicization and stigmatization of the virus, and call on the international community to jointly prevent discrimination and stigma, reject misinformation and disinformation.

“There is need to strengthen cooperation on the research and development of diagnostics, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines and the identification of the zoonotic source of the virus,” it stated.

In the communiqué, Africa commended the decisive measures taken by the Chinese government to contain the spread of the virus and its timely sharing of information with WHO and relevant countries.

Participants of the virtual summit included President Muhammadu Buhari, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chair of the African Union amongst others.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and Director-general of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus were invited as special guests to the summit. (NAN)