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MFA: All Need to Uphold Multilateralism with Concrete Actions

2020/08/12

At an MFA regular press conference on 11 August, when asked about the recent G7 talks on WHO reform, Spokesperson Zhao Lijian pointed to the irreplaceable role of WHO in coordinating the global response to COVID-19 and called on all parties to support multilateralism and WHO's lead role in international anti-epidemic cooperation through concrete action.

At the press conference, a journalist cited anonymous officials that France and Germany have quitted G7 negotiations on WHO reform, frustrated by US efforts to dominate the talks even after its announced withdrawal from the organization. The Italian health ministry said the talks were still underway, but Rome's position is in line with that of Paris and Berlin. It is also reported that the US wanted the G7 to unveil a US-led reform roadmap in September.

When asked for China's comment, Zhao said that the US pull-out is just another example of its unilateralist approach to international agreements and international organizations. The move has undermined international response to COVID-19, putting developing countries who urgently need international support in jeopardy. All fair-minded people can see the harm, and that is why the international community has expressed unanimous opposition.

As the world's most authoritative and professional international body on public health, WHO is irreplaceable in coordinating global response to COVID-19. Supporting WHO is supporting international cooperation against the virus and the efforts to save lives. This is the consensus of the international community.

"Many hands make light work," said Zhao. "We call on all parties to support multilateralism through concrete action, strengthen and improve the global governance system centered around the UN, and support WHO's lead role in global response against COVID-19. Countries need to recognize and encourage the good work of WHO, and jointly offset the adverse impact of such unilateral moves as withdrawing from international treaties and organizations at will." He concluded by calling on all sides to work for a global community of health for all.

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