UK PM urges unity in global fight against COVID-19

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the House of Commons, in London, Britain, on Sept. 16, 2020. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua)

“Unless we unite and turn our fire against our common foe, we know that everyone will lose,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He also proposed a plan to create a global approach to health security, including a global network of research hubs, a global pandemic early warning system and an emergency response.

(Xinhua) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday called for nations to act together in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic and striving for vaccines.

“Unless we unite and turn our fire against our common foe, we know that everyone will lose,” said Johnson, addressing the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

He called for the international community to make concerted efforts and act together “now,” instead of waging separate campaigns, to avoid the outcome of prolonging the calamity.

“Now is the time,” said the British prime minister. “Let’s heal the world.”

Meanwhile, he appealed for international cooperation in the effort to develop a vaccine.

“The health of every country depends on the whole world having access to a safe and effective vaccine, wherever a breakthrough might occur,” Johnson said.

“But even as we strive for a vaccine, we must never cut corners, slim down the trials or sacrifice safety to speed,” he told the assembly.

The British prime minister noted it is important for the international community to learn from the COVID-19 crisis, look ahead and think about how to stop a pandemic from happening again.

People sit on the lawn at Potters Fields Park in front of Tower Bridge in London, Britain, on Sept. 14, 2020. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua)

“I don’t think there is any reason for fatalism,” even though “the dangers can never be wholly eliminated,” he said, emphasizing that “human ingenuity and expertise can reduce the risk.”

In his statement, Johnson also proposed a plan to create a global approach to health security, including a global network of research hubs, a global pandemic early warning system and an emergency response.

He underscored the importance of securing supply chains in the midst of a pandemic, urging every country to lift the export controls wherever possible – and agree not to revive them – and cancel any tariffs on the vital tools of the global struggle.

Convened on Tuesday, the theme of this year’s general debate is “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism — confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action.”

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