The International Advisory Board of the Silk Road Think Tank Association has held a videoconference and released a statement, calling for strengthening International Cooperation in fight against COVID-19.

Focusing on the theme of “Working together to meet global public health security challenges and build the Health Silk Road,” the meeting was attended Friday by more than 30 Politicians & Scholars from more than 10 Countries, including Iran, France, Italy, Egypt and Greece.

According to the statement, COVID-19 brings the most urgent and serious challenge to both the health of humanity and world peace and development. In order to jointly respond to the risks and challenges, continued efforts should be made to act on the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind towards stronger solidarity and cooperation.

It must be duly acknowledged that since the outbreak of COVID-19, various countries have adopted response tactics and measures in light of their specific national conditions and significant progress has been achieved in China and some other countries, offering useful practice to the ongoing global fight against COVID-19, the statement said.

“It should be fully recognized that tracing the origin of the virus is a matter of scientific nature and labelling the virus could by no means be conducive to the international cooperation against COVID-19,” the statement said.

“Concerted efforts must be made to promote joint research and development towards early breakthroughs with a scientific approach and to oppose the politicization of public health issues, the stigmatization of other countries under the excuse of COVID-19 and discriminatory comments and practices against any country, region or ethnic group.”

“We highly commend the World Health Organization for the objective, scientific and fair standing in competently performing their duties and responsibilities as well as the important coordinating and leading role they play in synchronizing international response and promoting international cooperation,” said the statement, urging greater support for developing countries in their fight against COVID-19 and efforts to stabilize trade and investment environment, preserve openness of markets and facilitate the smooth performance of logistics networks.

Governments, Political Parties, Social Organizations, Enterprises, Media, Think Tanks and General Public of all Countries, Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) Cooperation partners in particular, must strengthen cooperation to jointly withstand the Economic & Social Impact of COVID-19, according to the statement.

“Countries, BRI partner countries in particular, must bolster the conviction and confidence to defeat the outbreak with courage, solidarity, and wisdom so that the exhilarating experience they share in fighting COVID-19 will augur even greater achievements in BRI cooperation, and indeed an even brighter tomorrow for all mankind,” added the statement.

Speaking at the videoconference, Mizengo Kayanza Peter Pinda, former prime minister of Tanzania, said that COVID-19 is a wake-up call to the international community to come together and solve the current and future public health challenges.

The essential meaning of a community with a shared future for mankind is that in the age of globalization, the destinies of all countries are interconnected, Pinda said. “The only logical solution is to embody the spirit of community, solidarity and unity in addressing global public challenges.”

Pinda’s remarks was echoed by Essam Sharaf, Former Prime Minister of Egypt, who stressed that no single country can fight alone and work in isolation from the rest of the world.

George Papandreou, Former Prime Minister of Greece, said “it is too easy to blame other countries. That is not the issue today. What is the interest today is how we work together in dealing with this global pandemic.”