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S. Korea launches multilateral cooperation group against infectious diseases

All News 21:54 May 20, 2020

SEOUL, May 20 (Yonhap) -- A South Korea-led multilateral cooperation group against global infectious diseases held its first meeting via videoconference on Wednesday to discuss ways for effective governance and international solidarity in the health sector.

The Support Group for Global Infectious Disease Response (G4IDR) is the second of three multilateral cooperation groups on joint coronavirus responses to be launched after the first one kicked off last week.

South Korea unveiled a plan earlier this month to establish the so-called Friends Groups 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.

The groups will serve as platforms to promote global solidarity in ensuring international health care security, cooperation in fighting global contagious diseases and civil education on global solidarity, respectively.

In Wednesday's meeting, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said global infectious diseases like COVID-19 are not something that can be successfully dealt with by each country alone and hoped this new group will contribute to strengthening global health governance, the foreign ministry said in a release.

The G4IDR meeting was attended by officials from eight countries, including Singapore, Turkey, Morocco and Kenya, and others from related key international organizations. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was also among those present at the conference.

The third Friends Group with UNESCO will be launched next week.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks during the first videoconference of the Support Group for Global Infectious Disease Response, a South Korea-led multilateral cooperation group on global health consisting of eight participating countries as well as international organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), in this photo provided by Seoul's foreign ministry on May 20, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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