Korea-led UN friends group for global health security launched
May 15, 2020
Global Korean Post
By Xu Aiying and Kim Minji
A friends group in the United Nations led by Korea was formed on May 12 to strengthen international cooperation in health care security, including for responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
About 200 people attended a videoconference jointly chaired by Korea, Canada, Denmark, Sierra Leone and Qatar including Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, her counterparts from the four other chair countries, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, David Navarro, special envoy to the World Health Organization on COVID-19, U.N. diplomatic staff and health experts.
“To respond to a global epidemic like COVID-19, comprehensive, action-oriented and timely responses are important,” Minister Kang said, adding, “Following our government’s suggestion, we hope that this newly launched group will serve at the U.N. level as an effective platform for multilateral cooperation searching for these responses.”
Foreign ministers from chair countries lauded Korea’s leadership in heading the foundation of the multilateral cooperation group and expressed their willingness to actively contribute to enforcing health security worldwide, like in responding to COVID-19.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul said, “We hope that in-depth discussions by the friends group will be a great help in accelerating the U.N.’s coordinated response and effective actions on health security issues, including the coronavirus pandemic.”
“As a chair country, Korea plans on sharing its know-how in building quarantine and advanced medical systems for COVID-19 to continue leading international health cooperation.”