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Epidemic Knows No Borders,Yet Adversity Reveals True Friendship

2014-09-25 20:30

Remarks by H.E. Wang Yi

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China at the

UN High-Level Meeting on Response to Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak

New York, 25 September 2014

Mr. President,

It is most relevant and highly necessary that the United Nations convenes this meeting today.

Having claimed over 2,900 lives, the virus has continued to wreck havoc as we speak. On this occasion, I wish to express once again, on behalf of the Chinese government, deep sympathies and condolences to the affected countries and on the unfortunate loss of lives.

Epidemic knows no borders. Ebola has posed a common challenge to all countries. All lives are equal, and it is the shared mission of mankind to uphold the dignity of all human lives. As we speak, the fight against the epidemic remains fierce, far beyond the capability of any individual country suffering the disease. Time is life. The international community must act together and put more efforts in fighting the epidemic so as to tide over this difficult time.

- It is important that we stay united. At the moment,we must stand together,work hand in hand and with confidence to win this fight and prevail over the scourge of the epidemic.

- It is important that we offer timely and needed help. More medical workers and experts should be sent and more equipment and materials for disease prevention and protection should be provided to assist in the treatment of infections, enhance the local epidemic testing capabilities, and increase disease prevention and control at the community level.

- It is important that we coordinate with each other closely. We support the WHO and the United Nations in continuing to play necessary roles in mobilizing global resources to fight the epidemic. What is pressing now is to effectively implement the roadmap laid down by the WHO and actively work with the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response. In this regard, China will send people to join the UN mission.

- It is important that we address both "the symptom and the root cause" of the outbreak. We need to both manage the immediate crisis and remove the root cause of the epidemic. Efforts should be made to accelerate the research and development of vaccines and drugs.Countries should increase input in Africa to help Africa enhance its public health capacity and achieve even greater development, for this is the fundamental answer to preventing any future outbreak.

Mr. President,

The epidemic may be merciless, but people with love help each other. I say to people in the affected areas: You are not fighting alone. The Chinese people will always be with you.

Since the outbreak of the disease, more than 170 Chinese medical workers have been working side by side with the local people in the affected areas to combat the virus. Immediately after the outbreak, the Chinese government dispatched drugs, medical equipment and other disease treatment and control supplies to the four countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau.

On top of that, last August, China offered humanitarian materials worth 30 million RMB yuan to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, which were delivered to these countries by air without delay.

This month, President Xi Jinping announced that China will provide an additional 200 million yuan of emergency cash, food and material supplies to relevant African countries, and that China will offer the WHO and the African Union each with two million US dollars in cash assistance. Implementation of the assistance is now well underway.

The two groups of mobile bio-safety laboratories sent by China are operating in Sierra Leone. Over 30 Chinese medical workers and more than 20 epidemic experts are busy conducting lab testing and taking care of suspected patients placed under medical observation.

Responding to further needs of the affected areas, China will continue to provide additional assistance by sending high-level expert teams to the affected countries to share epidemic control experience, working with the international community to train medical personnel for the affected countries and helping to set up treatment centers. China will also give priority to boosting health cooperation under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to help improve disease prevention and control systems of African countries.

Mr. President,

I am convinced that as long as the international community stands united in mind and in action, the Ebola epidemic will be defeated at an early date.

Thank you.


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