Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn said playing the “Blame Game” will only diminish global efforts against the COVID-19 Pandemic and called for international solidarity, according to a Statement from the Foreign Ministry released Friday.

He made the remarks Thursday at the High-level Video Conference on Belt & Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity, the statement said.

“Any politicisation of the outbreak or resorting to a blame game will only diminish the benefits of the international anti-pandemic efforts,” Sokhonn said.

“Without international cooperation and solidarity, we cannot win the fight against this pandemic.” He said that countries need to focus on strengthening their collective capacities to address this public health crisis through exchanging technical expertise and experience, good practices, and exploring joint research and development of medicines and vaccines.

In this regard, Cambodia supports the creation of a Health Silk Road initiative, he said, adding that to build the Health Silk Road, it is vital for countries to share information and best practices, and enhance equitable and affordable access to health products, including vaccines, which should be recognised as global public goods.

Sokhonn, who is also Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister, highly commended China’s contribution to fighting the pandemic worldwide.

He noted that in the current context, countries should reaffirm their commitment to supporting the role of the World Health Organisation (WHO). “The WHO must be given the means to better fulfil its normative mission,” he said.

While the COVID-19 curve has been flattened in some parts of the world, it is time to start exploring and securing ways and means to create a conducive environment for a post-pandemic economic recovery, Sokhonn said.

“Emerging markets and developing countries are critical, both as suppliers and markets. Ensuring unfettered connectivity amongst us will strengthen our economies,” he said.

He added that as a firm believer in multilateralism and an active actor in the Belt & Road Cooperation Framework, Cambodia is calling for deeper engagement of all State and non-State actors in various Belt & Road Cooperative Programs.

Foreign Ministers or Officials at Ministerial level from 25 Countries took part in Thursday’s video conference, with WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UN Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner also participating.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered President Xi Jinping message to BRI Members in a Video Conference on Thursday.

“President Xi said China will continue to promote Multilateralism & Work to share experiences in epidemic control and prevention and revive economic activity. Beijing pledges to further boost International Cooperation under the Belt & Road Initiative, despite COVID-19’s Global Impact.

“As a partner of the Belt & Road initiative, China has the responsibility of setting a good example for the world. We will strengthen public health cooperation in the world’s fight against the Pandemic.

Through joint efforts, we will share our experience in epidemic control and prevention, boost aid and support for anti-epidemic resources, and vaccine research and development, thus speeding up a ‘Silk Road’ of Health.”