Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena participated in a joint video conference on COVID-19 response involving his counterparts from China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan held 27 April 2021.
The discussions focused on consolidating COVID-19 response cooperation and promoting post-pandemic economic recovery as well as poverty alleviation amidst the recent spike in COVID-19 infections.
During his remarks, Minister Gunawardena underlined the critical need for active cooperation in effectively responding to COVID-19. The Foreign Minister also outlined the importance of addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic in a manner that helps countries to take forward national priorities in economic recovery and uplifting rural livelihoods.
Furthermore, Minister Gunawardena reiterated that taking appropriate measures to maintain a steady and equitable flow of critical medical equipment, medicine, and vaccines to nations in need, under the guidance of the UN and WHO was essential to contain the epidemic and avoid relapses.
The participants expressed the view that effective response should have at its core, a process to addressissues on supply of emergency needs during natural and other disasters, the use of technology and other tools and platforms for poverty alleviation in the rural economies.
The counterparts from countries that participated included State Councilor Wang Yi (China), Mirwais Nab (Afghanistan), A.K Abdul Memon (Bangladesh), Pradeep Kumar Gyawali (Nepal) and Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi (Pakistan).