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Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Informal Meeting on the Ebola Outbreak at the 69th Session of the General Assembly

2015/06/02

Mr. President,

China congratulates Liberia for having been declared the “Ebola free”, and is gratified that the fight of Sierra Leone and Guinea against the epidemic is, on the whole, taking a turn for the better. I wish to make the following observations regarding our future work in this area:

First, we must remain relentless till the epidemic is totally eradicated. There is an ancient Chinese saying: “One should work as hard towards the end as at the beginning”, meaning that the closer we are to success, the less should we relax efforts. With the progress still not solid and the upcoming rainy season, the international community should remain highly vigilant and make concerted efforts to provide more assistance to the affected countries. We should support the coordinating and leading role of the UN and jointly complete the “last mile” in our endeavor to combat the epidemic with a view to achieving the goal of “getting to zero” everywhere.

Secondly, we should take a holistic approach and pay more attention to the post-epidemic recovery and reconstruction. With the entry of these countries in the “post-Ebola” period, the international community should gradually shift the focus of its work to post-epidemic recovery and reconstruction. The key in this aspect is to help strengthen the public health system of the affected countries and carry out pragmatic cooperation in disease prevention and control, personnel training, and pharmaceutical research and development and so on. We should help the affected countries with infrastructure construction and resumption of education and trade activities, so that they can achieve post-epidemic recovery and socio-economic development at an early date. China welcomes the plan of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of hosting in New York an International Ebola Recovery Conference on July 10, and wishes the conference success.

Thirdly, we should draw lessons from the epidemic and improve the capacity of the international community in responding to public health crises. The Ebola epidemic has fully revealed the inadequacies of the international response to public health crises. We must reflect on our response, take stock with lessons learned, so as to better tackle future challenges. China welcomes the relevant reform recommendations of the WHO and supports Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in appointing the High-level Panel on Global Response to Health Crises. We hope that the Panel will fully listen to views of all sides and put forward practicable recommendations for enhancing the capacity of the international community in responding to health crises.

Mr. President,

As a good partner and friend of Africa, the Chinese government stood with the continent in its time of difficulty, and provided a huge amount of assistance to the affected countries right after the ebola outbreak. We also pay high attention to post-Ebola recovery and reconstruction and are now in consultations with the relevant affected countries on plans of cooperation. China is also discussing with the African Union the building of an “African Center for Disease Control and Prevention”, and planning to offer 12 training sessions on public health and epidemic prevention and control for trainees from Africa this year.

China noticed the considerable gap in the UN Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund. We have already donated 6 million US dollars and are considering more donations to further help the affected countries combat the epidemic, and attain economic recovery and social development.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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