Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi addressed the high-level Belt and Road meeting titled “Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity.”
The online event was attended by foreign ministers and officials at the ministerial level from 25 countries as well as the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner.
The talks focused on economic revival, boosting connectivity, and the implementation of projects as part of the Belt and Road initiative in a post-pandemic period. At the end of the meeting, the participants issued a joint statement.
In his remarks, Tileuberdi stressed the importance of strengthening practical cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 and fostering the digitization of partner countries.
Kazakhstan supported the initiatives to create the Health Silk Road with partner countries that agree on the need to “address, control and overcome the pandemic through the sharing of the timely and necessary information, experiences and best practices for diagnosis and treatment of the COVID-19, strengthening and upgrading the capacity of the public health system, promoting joint scientific research and international dialogue among health professionals, and providing assistance to countries in need.”
The sides called for greater investments in building quality healthcare infrastructure and supporting frontline workers.
The Kazakh minister also expressed support for the development of Digital Silk Road. Kazakhstan, he said, is ready to serve as a transit and transport hub connecting Asia and Europe.
“COVID-19 constitutes a global challenge and calls for a global response based on unity, solidarity, mutual support, and multilateral cooperation. We recognize the central role of the United Nations system in catalyzing and coordinating the comprehensive global response to control and contain the spread of COVID-19 as well as the efforts of Member States therein and acknowledge in this regard the key leadership role of the World Health Organization. We agree that there is no place for any form of discrimination, stigmatization, racism, and xenophobia in our response to the pandemic,” the partner countries said in their joint statement.
The full text of the statement can be accessed here.