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Statement of Ambassador CHEN Xu at the Virtual Informal Conversation with the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Outbreak of COVID-19 and its implications on human rights

Madam President, Madam High Commissioner:

China thanks Madam High Commissioner for her presentation. COVID-19 is spreading across the world, posing enormous threat to life and health and bringing formidable challenge to the States in their efforts to safeguard all human rights, including the right to life and right to health of their people. It is imperative for the international community to act with solidarity, step up comprehensive cooperation and foster greater synergy so as to achieve the final victory against the virus. To alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on human rights, we wish to emphasize the following:

First, all States should put people's life and health first, make effective and collective response for control, treatment and collaboration at the international level, stem resolutely the spread of the pandemic for the real protection of people's right to life and right to health. The international community should provide aid and support to developing countries in their response to the outbreak. Countries concerned should immediately lift unilateral sanctions they imposed on some developing countries to prevent additional harms to the people of those countries.

Second, all States should pay high attention to the challenge of the pandemic on economic and social development, and take effective measures to minimize its impact. They should guarantee people's basic needs as well as their economic, social and cultural rights and right to development, and guarantee the rights of women, children, the disabled, the elderly, migrants and other vulnerable groups.

Third, all parties should jointly oppose stigmatization and politicization of public health issue. The virus is common enemy for all mankind, which respects no borders and hurts all ethnic groups. Instigating racial discrimination and xenophobia, and creating divisions and confrontations deliberately should be abandoned.

China supports international organizations in playing active roles in international cooperation against the pandemic, with the WHO playing the leading and coordinating role. We also welcome Madam High Commissioner and her Office to make contributions to the international efforts within their mandate.

Madam President,

Facing the COVID-19 outbreak that caught everyone by surprise, China has mobilized the entire nation, set up collective control and treatment mechanisms and acted with openness and transparency. What we fought was a people's war against COVID-19. With arduous efforts, the Chinese people fought through the most difficult time, and are speeding up the restoration of normal life and work. Guided by the vision of building a community with a shared future for human beings, China has taken an active part in international efforts against COVID-19. President Xi Jinping attended the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit on COVID-19 where he delivered important statements. He also spoke with over 20 heads of States or international organizations over the phone, expressing China's willingness to share its expertise and experiences and provide support and assistance where we can to those countries in need. China is currently making active efforts in honoring its assistance commitment to more than 130 countries and organizations, including testing reagents for over one million people, more than 2.2 million medical N95 masks, over 13 million surgical masks and other medical supplies, as well as 20 million U.S. dollars donation to the WHO. China has sent a total of 13 teams of medical experts to 11 countries, and held about 70 video experts conferences with more than 150 countries as well as international organizations including ASEAN, AU, EU, the Caribbean Community and SCO. China facilitated the commercial procurement of medical supplies by other countries from China. Within just one month from March 1 to early April, about 3.86 billion masks, 37 million protective suits and 2.84 million testing reagents for COVID-19 have been exported from China after customs inspection. China is taking real action to promote international public health cooperation. This in itself is a significant contribution to the international human rights cause. China will continue to work with other parties to prevail over COVID-19 outbreak through solidarity and mutual assistance, and ensure the well-being of people of all countries.

Thank you, Madam President.

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