World renews fight against COVID-19

(VOVWORLD) - Leaders and scientists from more than 100 countries and organizations are attending a 2-day online special UN session on the COVID-19 pandemic, the greatest health crisis of the 21st century.

More than 32 million of the world’s poorest people face falling back into extreme poverty because of COVID-19. This pandemic is likely to cause the worst economic crisis in decades among the world’s least developed countries, according to a report released by the UN Conference on Trade and Development on Thursday.

World renews fight against COVID-19  - ảnh 1

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks at the special UN session on the COVID-19 pandemic on December 3, 2020. (Photo: UN)

Global effort intensified

In his opening address, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the pandemic has claimed more than 1.5 million lives worldwide and exacerbated long-term challenges, like inequality and climate change. According to Guterres, the world could face “enormous and growing” effects from COVID-19, even though “vaccines may become available within weeks or months.” He said “a vaccine cannot undo damage that will stretch across years, even decades to come.” The UN chief said that the threat of famine is looming as the world faces the biggest global recession in eight decades.” Guterres said a COVID-19 vaccine should be a global public good available to everyone, everywhere, and appealed for contributions to fill a gap of 4.3 billion USD urgently needed for the next two months.  

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and Chair of ASEAN in 2020, sent an important message to the special session. The 6-point message upholds the UN central role and proposes strengthened policy coordination, solidarity of action, international cooperation, and efforts of multilateral institutions of global governance to defeat COVID-19. Mr. Phuc called for people-centered policies and actions giving human health and human lives top priority and ensuring that people in all countries have access to vaccines and affordable COVID-19 treatments.

ASEAN countries have agreed to many cooperation initiatives like the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, the Strategic Framework for Public Health Emergencies, the ASEAN Center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases, and the Comprehensive Recovery Framework and its Implementation Plan.

World renews fight against COVID-19  - ảnh 2 Delegates observe a minute of silence to remember victims of COVID-19 at the meeting on December 3, 2020. (Photo: UN)

Growing need for joint pandemic response

Just a few days before the Special Session, ASEAN and EU Foreign Ministers met online to discuss cooperation in fighting COVID-19 and ways to create a strong recovery momentum. They agreed on the importance of cooperation at the World Health Organization to objectively assess how to respond to the pandemic, and said they look forward to continued cooperation in line with the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework. The meeting encouraged strengthened readiness and capacity to respond to current and future public health crises in accordance with the 3rd UN Sustainable Development Goal of  good health and well-being.

In the face of the increasingly serious impact of the pandemic, international cooperation has become more urgent. As a responsible member of the UN, Vietnam believes that “the international community will emerge triumphant by harnessing the will and power of each nation, and strengthening our solidarity and cooperation.” Prime Minister Phuc said “together people can build a brighter future for each and every country and individual, and Vietnam will contribute all it can to this noble endeavor.”

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