September 30, 2022

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Asian-Pacific area lawmakers seek ‘whole of society’ approach against Covid

Bangkok, Policymakers from 50 Asian and Pacific countries on Thursday called for a “whole-of-society” response to Covid-19.

Indian diplomats, attending the annual session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) told that the policymakers encouraged coordinated action across the region to mitigate the economic and social devastation brought on by the pandemic.

That augurs well for India, they said, because it needs external support at the moment to tide over the crisis of the second Covid surge that has led to more than three million infections.

Endorsing a resolution on the final day of ESCAP’s annual session, the delegates also reaffirmed its commitment to multilateralism in response to global crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

They further underlined the importance of ensuring universal and equitable access to vaccines, and investing in social protection systems that promote access to essential services and decent jobs.

They particularly stressed on meeting the health and social care needs of the most vulnerable populations, and promoting the continued flow of essential goods and services.

“We are committed to supporting governments to building back better from the Covid-19 pandemic through inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery strategies,” United Nations Under Secretary General and ESCAP Executive Secretary Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, said in her closing remarks to the Commission’s 77th session.

“It is my utmost hope that the resolution on regional cooperation to build back better from crises in Asia and the Pacific will further mainstream our response to Covid-19.”

Noting that the ESCAP will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2022, she remarked that “regional cooperation is as needed today as it was 75 years ago”.

Alisjahbana noted that as the Commission approaches this landmark milestone, it is poised to take concrete actions on shaping the future of regional cooperation to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and deliver on the common agenda set out by member states.

More than 500 delegates from 52 of the Commission’s 62 members and associate members attended the session held this week from April 26 to 29, via a virtual platform.

They said member nations should help out those in real distress like India, where a sudden second surge of Covid have put the national healthcare system under enormous stress.

They noted India’s commitment to the global battle against the Covid pandemic, specially its effort to distribute vaccines to countries in need.

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