President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja via video-conference participated in an online Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Contact Group Meeting convened in response to COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting with the theme; ”United Against COVID-19”, was presided over by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and current Chairman of the NAM, Mr IIham Aliyev.
In his opening speech, Aliyev thanked the member countries of NAM for unanimously endorsing the global fight against COVID-19 to protect humanity from destruction.
He revealed that Azerbaijan had already donated $5 million to the World Health organisation (WHO) to help combat the deadly Coronavirus disease.
According to him, Azerbaijan on it’s part has introduced several measures including special quarantine region which has extended to May 31 to stop the spread of the disease in the country.
He also disclosed that the country had earmarked 3.5billion dollars for the implementation of the country’s social interventions programmes, while tax holidays had also been offered to some companies to cushion the negative impacts of the deadly virus.
Aliyev commended the World Health Organisation and the United Nations for their collaborative support In the global fight against Coronavirus, and pledged that NAM would continue to share ideas and information with all stakeholders to combat the pandemic.
The President of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, who also participated in the conference, reiterated the commitment of the UN in the efforts towards finding solutions to the deadly Coronavirus.
While noting that the virus has disrupted economies of many nations across the world, Muhammad-Bande commended member countries of the NAM for their joint efforts in the fight against the pandemic.
He, however, enjoined them to continue to build stronger economies that would address the difficulties being experienced by their respective citizens.
In a video message to the event, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, noted with concern that the virus had so far inflicted serious damages humanity and economies of the world.
He, however, stressed the need to sustain global solidarity against the novel Coronavirus.
In his remarks, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, described the NAM Summit on COVID-19 as a welcome development as ”no country can manage the Coronavirus alone”
According to him, national unity, global solidarity and commitment to peace are vital in the fight against the virus.
”COVID-19 has affected all segments of the society – all countries must work together to ensure that no one is left behind,” he said.
In his contribution, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, lauded China and Cuba for sending medical equipment to Africa to combat the spread of the pandemic on the continent.