Addis Ababa – President Sahlework Zewdie called for “robust international coordination not international competition” in the fight against Coronavirus pandemic.
In a recorded message posted on the Office of the President’s Facebook , the president said “my call for action would be to eradicate the pandemic by mobilizing all the necessary resources and knowledge, better global coordination with the UN at the center, and robust international coordination not international competition. Innovating the same tools will not produce better results.”
She noted that the epidemic “has raised havoc in communities all around the world. Our way of life has completely been disrupted. Hundreds of thousands of people have died. Millions have lost jobs. Trillions of dollars have been lost.”
This crisis is different, the president pointed out, adding that “we have suddenly found ourselves in the same boat. As much as individualism and nationalism are visible, it has revealed the capacity of people to support each other and to build solidarity with the weakest among us. We have seen the heroic crew of medical staff and many others.”
According to Sahlework, “calls for solidarity are not new, but how successful have we been? Do we all give the same meaning? Let us be clear. It is not about charity or generosity. I stand in support of the United Nations Secretary General’s appeal for solidarity. There is no other option. This is a global crisis. Delay in action means death. We all face the same enemy. We stand to gain by bringing the full force of humanity together to fight it.”
The president stated that there cannot be victory over the virus in one or some countries alone. “We all have something to contribute, regardless of the size of our economies or populations.”
Global solution is in everybody’s enlightened self-interest and essential values of equality, justice and solidarity should be at the core, she said.
Sahlework underscored that the focus should be to continue protecting the most vulnerable community, especially women, children, people with disability as well as the most affected informal sector, mainly in Africa.
The president also urged the global community to start drawing lessons from the crisis with greater attention to strengthening the public health system and the emergency response mechanism.