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24 November 2020, 09:34

CSTO secretary general at UN dialogue: World community needs to focus on response to pandemic

Photo courtesy of the CSTO
Photo courtesy of the CSTO

MOSCOW, 24 November (BelTA) - CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas took part in a high-level interactive dialogue with the heads of regional and other international organizations, hosted by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres as a video conference on 23 November, BelTA learned from CSTO spokesman Vladimir Zainetdinov.

The CSTO secretary general said: “The CSTO has already stated that the world community needs to focus on substantive dialogue and joint actions to ensure practical measures in the fight against COVID-19 and the consequences of the pandemic.” In his words, it is necessary to start with the implementation of the UN secretary general's initiative for an immediate and global ceasefire across the globe in connection with the threat posed by the spread of the coronavirus.

“The CSTO member states were among the first to support this initiative. We clearly stated our position in a joint statement adopted at the meeting of the CSTO Foreign Ministers Council on 26 May. We called on all states, organizations and conflicting parties to listen to the call of UN secretary general and take appropriate steps immediately. This statement has not lost its relevance today,” Stanislav Zas said.

“We are convinced that in the current conditions of the coronavirus pandemic and the measures taken to combat it, it is necessary not to reduce the attention of the world community to the global threat of international terrorism and to continue to strengthen relevant national and multilateral efforts to combat this evil. The most recent events confirm this. We call on all members of the world community to put aside political and economic differences and cooperate in accordance with the UN Charter, joining efforts in combating the global challenge that is COVID-19,” said the CSTO secretary general.

Stanislav Zas also listed some basic principles of cooperation and mutual assistance, which CSTO member states believe should be guided by: “This is an integrated, science-based approach to the development and implementation of measures against the pandemic; cooperation for the development and production of vaccines; provision of technical, including financial, assistance to the most affected countries and peoples; strengthening the world's capacity to produce medical goods and equipment to combat the pandemic; ensuring effective national protection measures, which at the same time minimize negative consequences for the world economy.”

The CSTO secretary general confirmed the intentions of the CSTO member states to continue vigorous promotion of the agenda of measures aimed at strengthening international peace and security, reserving the central coordinating role of the UN at the same time.

The discussion emphasized the importance of cooperation with regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security, enshrined in Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. Leaders of OSCE, European Union, NATO, CIS, ASEAN, SCO, League of Arab States, African Union, Organization of American States, International Organization for Cooperation of the Francophonie, Commonwealth of Nations and other major associations - more than 20 organizations - took part in the dialogue. Issues raised by the UN secretary general included the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on peace and security in various regions of the world, the world's response to the UN Secretary General's call for a global ceasefire, and also the need for new initiatives to strengthen coordination and global governance in the area of peace and security.

In his speech, Antonio Guterres assessed the global situation, highlighting the factors that had contributed to its deterioration as a result of the pandemic. He emphasized the need to ensure that this challenge is properly addressed through the joint efforts of all nations. The UN secretary general noted that his March call for a cessation of fighting during the pandemic has not received sufficient support everywhere. He reiterated his call for an immediate end to all hostilities as part of the conflicts in different parts of the world before the end of this year.

Summing up the dialogue, where heads of almost all major regional organizations spoke, Antonio Guterres praised a high degree of mutual understanding in assessing the need to increase the joint response to the pandemic and strengthen international cooperation in ensuring peace and security. The UN secretary general expressed readiness to take into account the proposals of the participants of the discussion, including using them in the implementation of his General Assembly mandate to prepare recommendations to promote a common agenda and respond to current and future challenges.

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