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Multilateral cooperation group on coronavirus responses to set sail

All News 17:14 May 12, 2020

SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) -- A South Korea-led multilateral cooperation group on joint coronavirus responses was set to kick off late Tuesday with its first videoconference to be joined by more than 30 countries, the foreign ministry said.

Seoul unveiled a plan last week to establish the Friends Group in the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.N. Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as part of its bid to further spur global discussions on battling the pandemic.

Each of the three groups would serve as a platform to promote global solidarity in ensuring international health care security, cooperation in fighting global contagious diseases and civil education on global solidarity, respectively.

The first videoconference of the U.N. group will be attended by around 200 officials from more than 30 countries and be chaired by South Korea, Canada, Denmark, Sierra Leone and Qatar, ministry spokesperson Kim In-chul told a press briefing.

U.N. Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed and David Nabarro, a special envoy to the WHO, will also take part in Tuesday's meeting, the ministry said.

"As a venue for discussions on COVID-19 and health and security issues, we expect the group to be an important platform for the U.N. to explore ways to respond to international health and security challenges," Kim said.

South Korea is planning to launch the two other cooperation groups with the WHO and UNESCO this month.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (5th from L) presides over a videoconference with chiefs of South Korean missions in China to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, in this photo provided by the foreign ministry in Seoul on Feb. 19, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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