Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's remarks at NAM virtual Summit on COVID-19 response

Update: 09:19 | 05/05/2020
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called on members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to continue pioneering multilateralism and international solidarity and championing the role of the UN and WHO in the fight against COVID-19, while delivering his remarks at the NAM virtual conference on COVID-19 response on Monday.
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prime minister nguyen xuan phucs remarks at nam virtual summit on covid 19 response
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc delivered his remarks at the NAM virtual conference on COVID-19 response on Monday. (Photo: VGP)

Mr. Chair,

Excellencies leaders of nations,

Ladies and gentlemen

1. At the outset, I applaud you, Mr. Chair, for hosting this Conference on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is currently a grave threat and tremendous adversity facing all members of the NAM. Vietnam offers its condolences to the losses caused by the pandemic to all nations.

2. The NAM is the largest political assembly of developing countries. It should, and can, lend its strong voice to the common cause of cooperation in response to COVID-19. To this end, my proposals are as follow:

One, the six decades of NAM have proven that solidarity is the power to overcome countless hardships and reach its height today. The threat posed by COVID-19 is immense and unprecedented. It requires us to stand hand-in-hand, to strengthen our solidarity, to turn risk into opportunity. This is how we can overcome the present adversity, triumph over the pandemic, and move onward.

Two, each member country should seize the initiative in cooperation, in sharing information and experience at all levels, fields and forums. The aim is to establish a common mechanism for early warning, prevention and response to pandemics.

Three, each member should arrive at a sound strategy for the twofold goal of prioritizing pandemic control and maintaining economic and social stability and growth. This would include maintaining an open market, facilitating trade, sustaining supply and production chains, creating jobs, and prioritizing support for vulnerable groups. The people must be both the subject and the heart of all efforts for post-pandemic recovery and growth.

Four, the NAM needs to continue pioneering multilateralism and international solidarity and championing the role of the UN and WHO in the fight against COVID-19. At the same time, we need to persevere with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.

Five, the Movement needs to lend its strong voice for the rule of law and democratization of international relations. Let us together reject power politics, maintain a peaceful and stable environment to combat COVID-19, remove sanctions and embargoes, and respond actively to the call of the UN Secretary General for a global ceasefire.

3. The Vietnamese government has been fully aware of the hazard of the pandemic and has taken very early action against it. Our motto is: “Fight the pandemic as though an enemy.” The entire political system is part of the effort, and it has received popular support.

We have taken a range of strong measures at a higher level than recommended by the WHO. We accepted the loss of short-term economic interests to protect people's health. At the same time, we are both prioritizing the fight against the pandemic and maintaining stable production and business and strengthening social welfare so that no one would be left behind. As of today, out of our population of nearly 100 million, there are only 270 cases, 85% of whom have recovered, without any fatality.

4. As the 2020 ASEAN chair, Vietnam has been leading various discussions to share experience and foster cooperation in the fight against the pandemic within ASEAN and in cooperation with international partners. As a non-permanent member of the UNSC, we have been actively working with the WHO and other UN forums, and various multilateral forums.

5. In the fight against the pandemic, Vietnam has received much advice from the WHO and assistance from the international community. Limited though our capacity may be, we have shared what we have – critical medical equipment and hardware produced in Vietnam – with a number of countries heavily affected by the pandemic. We have also provided financial contribution to the WHO's COVID-19 Response Fund.

NAM's tradition is to derive its strength from unity. Though the fight against COVID-19 remains long ahead and full of hardship, I have full confidence that we shall win, and together work towards a world of peace and prosperity for every nation and everyone.

Thank you for your kind attention.

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(Source: VGP)