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Vietnamese PM’s message on International Day of Epidemic Preparedness

December 27, 2020 | 14:55

The first ever International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, being held on 27 December 2020, was called for by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate the importance of the prevention of, preparedness for and partnership against epidemics. The following is full message by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the occasion of the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness.

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called for a spirit of solidarity and strong international cooperation to overcome challenges together. Photo: thanhnien

The international community is witnessing the closure of 2020, a year full of challenges and adversities stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic. Against this backdrop and at Viet Nam's initiative, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Resolution proclaiming 27 December as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness. This Resolution holds great significance, as it helps raise awareness for each individual, community, state and the world on the importance, necessity and urgency of the prevention of, preparedness for and partnership against epidemics.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of investing in systems to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.

The first ever International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, being held on 27 December 2020, was called for by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate the importance of the prevention of, preparedness for and partnership against epidemics.

WHO works closely with governments to support efforts to build strong emergency and epidemic preparedness systems, as part of an overall approach to advance universal health coverage and strengthen primary health care systems.

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WHO works closely with governments to support efforts to build strong emergency and epidemic preparedness systems.

In the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Viet Nam has marshaled the broad support and participation of its entire population, with medical workers at the forefront, and engaged in active cooperation with various countries and regional and international organizations. Through such efforts, we have kept the pandemic under good control, maintained social welfare, bolstered economic recovery and sustained remarkable growth. By way of these achievements, as a responsible member of the international community, Viet Nam put forward the initiative for the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness in its capacity as both the 2020 ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, according to the VGP.

It is truly a great honor that this initiative has received strong support from the international community. To elaborate, 112 countries have co-sponsored it. This is testimony to the timeliness of Viet Nam's initiative and its relevance to the international community in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and other ongoing and future epidemics. It also constitutes another milestone in Viet Nam's pursuit of active international integration and enhanced multilateral diplomacy.

As we celebrate the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness for the first time, I call upon nations, organizations and individual to join us in endorsing and observing this Resolution. Let me draw your attention to these areas:

First, we need to forge stronger policy coordination and unity in action, attaching due importance to international cooperation and the effort of multilateral institutions for global governance centered around the United Nations. This will enable us to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, prevent and combat epidemics effectively.

Second, we must place the people's interest at the heart of all policies and action, prioritizing the protection of human health and lives above all. In the short term, we need to ensure affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatment drugs for people in all countries and territories.

Third, we should actively adapt to the new normal. This translates to a cohesive and holistic mix of solutions to promote economic recovery while fighting the pandemic, facilitate cross-border trade and investment, and maintain supply chains, especially of essential goods, food and medical supplies.

Viet Nam is confident that the international community shall be able to harness the will and strength of people of every nation, international solidarity and cooperation in order to together overcome current challenges and build a brighter future for every country and all citizens.

Viet Nam stands ready to play its part in this most noble of journeys.

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