EXTRAORDINARY VIRTUAL SCO COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING

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Islamabad :13 May, 2020.
Suggested Remarks by Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov,
Distinguished Colleagues from SCO Member States,
Honourable Secretary General Vladimir Norov, The world today is fighting an unforeseen and unknown enemy.
In a matter of weeks, the Covid-19 virus has spread like wild-fire, overwhelming communities and health systems, devouring scarce resources, consuming precious lives, and paralyzing economies and businesses the world over.
Nothing of this scale and magnitude has been witnessed in a century. Some 4.1 million have been infected and nearly 300,000 have fallen prey. Within days, the world that we knew and understood went through radical transformation. As we meet today in the online mode, Covid-19 continues to assault lives and livelihoods, and paralyze civilization.
On this sombre occasion, I wish to offer heartfelt condolences on the on-going losses. Our travails are common, and our grief is shared.
May I also acknowledge with appreciation, the initiative by the Russian Federation to convene this timely meeting.
I am confident that this Video-Conference will galvanize SCO into forging a stronger and more coherent front against the pandemic.
This meeting coincides with the 75th Anniversary of Victory against Fascism, Militarism and Violent Nationalism, and the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.
In the shape of the Pandemic, the UN at 75 faces among the most serious stress tests to its efficacy.
It is a matter of satisfaction that the SCO has, since its inception, upheld the UN Charter, and carried forward the baton of multilateralism.
As home to 40% world population, and a quarter of its GDP, SCO region has all the technological, material, human and financial resources needed to mount a successful effort to surmount the pandemic.
Animated by the Shanghai Spirit of common benefit, mutual trust and mutual respect, SCO can lead the charge in forging a comprehensive regional response commensurate with the challenge.
The People’s Republic of China in particular offers one of the most effective and successful templates in this fight.
Pakistan lauds China’s responsible handling of the crisis at home, and the generous support extended the world over, including Pakistan, to those in need.
Since its first case on 26 February 2020, Pakistan has pursued a carefully calibrated policy of containment.

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