May 13, 2020, 4:55 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 83786730
1 Persons


Pakistan calls for closer SCO members cooperation against Covid-19

Islamabad, May 13, IRNA -- Foreign Minister of Pakistan has called upon the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states to further enhance cooperation between hospitals and laboratories to fight Covid-19 and work on formalizing the SCO Hospital Alliance.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said this while participating in the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) Video-Conference convened by the Russian Federation in its capacity as current chair of SCO, on Wednesday.

Besides Pakistan, the meeting was attended by Foreign Ministers of all Member States, the Secretary General SCO, and Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-terrorist Structure.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the SCO countries should exchange views and perspectives on supporting the economically vulnerable sections of the society. He added Pakistan’s proposal for the establishment of an SCO Joint Working Group on Poverty Alleviation and Center of Excellence merits consideration.

“We should develop mechanisms for pooling scientific and technical resources for joint research on a vaccine and possible cure for the virus,” he said.

Qureshi added just as the world triumphed against the forces of violent nationalism 75 years ago, it needs unity and a sense of purpose, to triumph against Covid-19 today.

“At a normative level, we must acknowledge the primacy of principles of international law and centrality of the UN and its agencies. In the context of Covid-19, there must be no discrimination against any segment of society on religious, racial or ethnic grounds, nor should any community be stigmatized and targeted,” noted the foreign minister.

"We welcome the proposed SCO Agreement on Cooperation in Countering Epidemics as well as the MoU between SCO and WHO. We reaffirm Pakistan’s commitment to join the collective endeavours."

“As we observe the 75th Anniversary of Victory against Fascism, Militarism and Violent Nationalism, we must ensure that such xenophobic ideologies, including Islamophobia find no acceptance in today’s world,” he said.  

He added we strongly believe that tackling all forms of terrorism and extremism must continue to be a high priority.

“At the same time we must not allow anyone to use terrorism related allegations as a political tool to malign any country, race or religion,” Qureshi pointed out.  

He said: We must condemn and hold accountable the perpetrators of State terrorism including against people under illegal occupation.

The foreign minister expressing his views said while we grapple with Covid-19, other challenges to regional security must continue to command our attention.

He said the US-Taliban Peace Agreement has been a landmark development, that raises the hope of restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan after long decades of war.

“It is now for the Afghan leadership to seize the historic opportunity and work out a comprehensive and inclusive settlement,” he viewed.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi added through the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, SCO can play its due role for peace and security at this juncture.

“SCO’s role in coordinating our response to collectively confront this challenge will be crucial, going forward,” said the minister.

He said animated by the Shanghai Spirit of common benefit, mutual trust and mutual respect, SCO can lead the charge in forging a comprehensive regional response commensurate with the challenge.


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