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Let shared responsibility light up human history

By He Yin (People's Daily)    08:44, February 14, 2020

When the international society is working in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation to fight the novel coronavirus, it is also finding ways to enhance global cooperation on public health in the long run.

On Feb 11 and 12, the World Health Organization (WHO) held a global research and innovation forum to mobilize international action in response to the novel coronavirus emergency, aiming at achieving development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics as early as possible.

The Munich Security Conference to be held soon will also hold a side-event where WHO officials are expected to have discussions on the epidemic.

In the face of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), to improve and enhance global governance as a way to guarantee and increase common interests of the world is a responsibility and task shared by all members of the international society.

The epidemic tests the governance system and capability of not only one single country, but that of the world as a whole. All the PHECIs in the recent years called for the spirit of cooperation and joint efforts.

The novel coronavirus epidemic once again reminded the world that in the era of globalization, unilateralism and protectionism are not in line with the common interests of the globe, and selfish practices that disregard the interests of others are not able to guarantee safety. Only solidarity, cooperation and concerted efforts are the correct choice to protect the interests of all parties to the fullest and maximize common interests.

The world is a community with a shared future for mankind. It is a value that should be followed by all countries. Since the onset of the novel coronavirus pneumonia, China has launched a people’s war of epidemic prevention and control to protect people’s lives and health. All Chinese people have been working unitedly in the nationwide combat. The active, efficient, open and transparent measures taken by the Chinese government have also made huge contribution to safeguarding global and regional public health security.

In the epidemic, what China demonstrates is not only its institutional advantage of mobilizing resources for major undertakings, but also its pursuit of the common interests of the entire human being.

The WHO noted that China’s efforts to contain the virus at the source and stop the spread of it have earned valuable time for other countries to prevent and control the epidemic. “We would have seen many more cases outside China by now if it were not for the government’s efforts,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Leaders of many countries and heads of international organizations also expressed support and sympathy for China, which carries their recognition and praise for China’s pursuit, as they believe the country has brought hope and confidence to the final victory over the epidemic.

To conform to the general trend of building a community with a shared future for mankind and take responsible actions for the world is what most countries have practiced since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Dozens of countries have donated money and medical materials to China, and voiced support for the country and Wuhan, the worst-hit city. They made a sound of justice for China to resist the discrimination and stigma, and also dispelled rumors when misinformation spread.

Such warm practices have displayed the pursuit for the common interests of human beings, and created positive energy to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

“The only way we will defeat the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak is for all countries to work together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation.” This advice from Tedros, a top medical scientist of the world, has encouraged many countries and people to take concrete actions. It is believed that the world will surely be proud of such spirit when countries celebrate the victory over the epidemic one day.

Of course, the world also exposed certain weaknesses of global governance in the public health emergency. When most countries followed the authoritative advices from the WHO and stayed calm and rational, some other countries have overreacted and taken exaggerated measures. Some people even showed anxiety, confusion and fear for globalization.

This suggests that these countries and some of their people are not able to keep pace with the time, and there is still space for improvement of global governance. Just like Tedros pointed out, the control of infectious diseases is like the control of resources – when diseases burst out and trigger the concern of governments, countries would invest huge resources; but when epidemics are over, such resources become insufficient again.

In this sense, the current epidemic once again raised questions of national and even global governance for the world - how the world should maintain the monitoring and control of infectious disease and in what way it should make medical and supply preparation in case of emergencies.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN), and the international organization will launch a global conversation on the world's future. To learn from the lessons taught by the novel coronavirus outbreak to the human society shall be an important part for the global governance innovation and reform.

Every winter has an end and is followed by the spring. Human beings will finally win the battle against viruses. The world needs to learn from past experiences, and cherish the global forces established amid the epidemic. It should also cover its shortages and jointly find solutions.

Mutual assistance, cooperation and common development are all what the human history has forged during its long course of development. To combat the epidemic with concerted efforts will surely create new impetus for the human civilization, and inject new power into the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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