G77, China voice support for WHO in COVID-19 fight: statement

UNITED NATIONS, April 19 (Xinhua) -- The Group of 77 (G77) and China on Sunday issued a statement expressing their support for the World Health Organization (WHO) in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.


File photo: People's Daily app

"The Group of 77 and China is deeply concerned at the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most serious public health crises in modern history," the statement said, adding that "the first priority is to save lives."

"The group, therefore, acknowledges the leading role of the World Health Organization led by its Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and extends its full support and appreciation for its work in providing information, technical guidance, training and other assistance to developing countries to help them prepare for and efficiently respond to the pandemic," the statement said.

The group and China share United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' view that solidarity counts in the international efforts to curb the virus and its shattering consequences, they said.

They emphasized that "the international community must unite in its efforts to ensure access to scientific guidance, training, equipment, essential medical supplies, and concrete life-saving services to countries in greatest need and in regions where the full impact is yet to be felt."

The statement includes a call on the international community "to maintain and, where possible, increase their support for the WHO, which, by the mandate given to it by member states, has a critical and central role to play in supporting developing countries to confront a crisis of epic scale that threatens to erase the gains made over the past decades."

"We reiterate the need to strengthen international solidarity and multilateral cooperation and partnership in the fight against a disease that is our common enemy," according to the statement.