The representatives of Canada, Denmark, Qatar, the Republic of Korea and Sierra Leone to the UN informed the UN Secretary-General about the creation of the Group of Friends of Solidarity for Global Health Security, which includes 43 states and the European Union.
This Group,- insufficiently publicized by mainstream media,- aims to complement ongoing global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and other threats to global health security by providing an informal platform for UN member states to share their experiences, including best practices and lessons learned from responding to COVID-19 and past health crises.
The Group will primarily focus its discussions on the impact of COVID-19 and other health crises on peace and security, development, human rights and humanitarian aspects, and on how to respond to these challenges. It will take a comprehensive approach and discuss topics that address the wide-ranging and multifaceted impact of COVID-19 and other health crises.
The Group of Friends reaffirmed its shared commitment to multilateralism and collective action in the face of these challenges and will encourage enhanced political will and solidarity among member states, the UN, academia, civil society and other actors.
Legitimate expectations can be expressed about the long-term success of the activities of the describedGroup of Friends of Solidarity for Global Health Security.
On 19 February 2000 the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) adopted by consensus a document entitled "Bangkok Declaration: Global Dialogue and Dynamic Engagement" which contains relevant provisions fully applicable during COVID-19 times.
I was in the conference room when this first programmatic document of the 21st Century was enthusiastically welcomed by all delegations. It says inter alia that "Solidarity and a strong sense of moral responsibility must be the guiding light of national and international policy. They are not only ethical imperatives, but also prerequisites for a prosperous, peaceful and secure world based on true partnership."
After 20 years,the full implementation of these objectives is still on the waiting list.The UN Secretary-General recognized it in clear terms.In his remarks on September 4 2020 ,at the G20 extraordinary meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs, he said :"we still lack effective international solidarity to respond to the economic and social impacts and the underlying fragilities exposed by the pandemic."
Can the 75th session of the UNGA lead to significant solutions ?
There are doubts that the declaration to be adopted by the high -level segment of the UNGA session will contain specific solutions. More results can be expected from the substantive deliberations in the UNGA plenary about global health and foreign policy.
In this regard,Indonesia has already officially announced that during its chairmanship of the Foreign Policy and Global Health Initiative in 2020, it has chosen "Affordable health care for all" as the central theme. Every year, the Initiative member countries have pioneered, and succeeded in mainstreaming health issues within the global health and foreign policy agenda at the UNGA and at the World Health Assembly. Since promoting global health involves and requires concerted efforts on the part of multiple stakeholders, Indonesia would like to revitalize the Initiative to translate this specific cooperation into more concrete actions and results and affordable care for all.
It is in this organizational framework that a new comprehensive resolution could be adopted after serious consideration of the WHO report on the relevant agenda item. In this framework an authentic test of diplomatic maturity can take place. Yet,such a maturity cannot emerge spontaneously without a strong stimulus from national leaders who need themselves a true political maturity as decision-making actors.
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