Comment by the Information and Press Department on the UN General Assembly reviewing the Declaration of Solidarity on Combating the Coronavirus Pandemic
Russia insists on promoting international solidarity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We emphasise the unique role of the UN in this effort. We welcome the UN General Assembly’s resolution on this matter, spearheaded by Ghana, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland. We were supportive of its adoption by consensus.
However, admittedly, the above document ignores a number of important aspects related to the pandemic which the UN Secretary-General and other senior UN officials are urging everyone to address.
In this regard, Russia submitted a draft Declaration of Solidarity in Combating the Coronavirus Pandemic to the General Assembly to reiterate the international community’s commitment to the UN Charter principle of cooperation between states. The text put an emphasis on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) coordinating role in combating the pandemic and focused on the principle of cooperation in developing a strategy to curb the spread and treatment of the coronavirus infection. It contained a call to provide assistance to the most affected states, especially developing economies, and to stop trade wars. It also called for the lifting of unilateral sanctions imposed in circumvention of the UN Security Council and for immediate access to food and medicine to be ensured. Also, the draft declaration pointed out the need to counter the practice of reselling essential goods at inflated prices.
Twenty-eight states co-sponsored this declaration.
The United States, Great Britain and the EU, with Ukraine and Georgia tagging along, were against the consensus-based adoption of this absolutely humanistic document. Regrettably, even in the face of a pandemic, they chose to stick to their politicised stances. The unwillingness of a number of international actors to drop their sanctions policies, which put ordinary people in the most vulnerable states on the brink of survival, appears particularly outrageous. We believe that, in these emergency circumstances, the UN Secretary-General should raise his voice in favour of lifting discriminatory restrictions.
We will continue coordinating the efforts to promote our declaration with like-minded people. We hope all interested countries will join it. We remain convinced that amid the current challenging sanitary and epidemiological situation, the politicisation of discussions on the viral infection will adversely affect the global efforts to contain the pandemic. We call upon states to closely coordinate their efforts to respond to the new threat in order to minimise the loss of life and alleviate the ramifications for the global economy.
Guided by the principle of solidarity, Russia continues to provide bilateral and WHO-related assistance to the countries that are most in need as they continue to fight the coronavirus infection.