China on Tuesday delivered a joint statement on behalf of more than 100 countries at the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, calling for a people-centered global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chen Xu, head of the Chinese Mission to the UN at Geneva, said in the statement that "we recognize that the COVID-19 global pandemic requires a global response that is people-centered, gender-responsive, with full respect for human rights, multidimensional, coordinated, inclusive and innovative, based on unity, solidarity and multilateral cooperation."
Noting that the current COVID-19 pandemic is making a severe impact on the economy, society and people's livelihoods of all countries and exacerbating inequality, Chen emphasized that the poor and vulnerable groups are the hardest hit.
"Efforts should be made to protect the right to life and right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health," he said.
The diplomat added that it is essential to deepen international cooperation on the prevention and control of the pandemic, and enhance information sharing and joint prevention and control.
"Particularly, we need to strengthen cooperation on vaccine research and development, production and distribution, making vaccine truly an accessible and affordable public good for the people of all countries, especially developing countries," he said.
The Chinese diplomat then highlighted the need to promote sustainable development and step up efforts to alleviate poverty with the aim of eliminating all forms of poverty and improving people's living standards.
All human rights, he said, including the right to food, right to education, right to adequate housing and right to decent work, should be fully protected.
"International development cooperation should be promoted to ensure that people of all countries equally share the opportunities and gains of development," he said.
Chen also called for measures to strengthen the social security system, saying it is critical to provide necessary social services to vulnerable and marginalized groups, helping them overcome the negative impact of the pandemic.
"Efforts should be redoubled to fight racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance as well as stigmatization, hate speech, and violence so as to create an equal and inclusive society," he said.
"International cooperation, multilateralism and solidarity is the only effective way for the world to tackle global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic," he added.
The 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council kicked off here on Feb. 22, and is expected to last until March 23. Enditem