African National Congress


Today, as the COVID-19 outbreak is spreading rapidly across the globe, it constitutes the most urgent and serious challenge to both the health of the humanity and world peace and development.

Faced with this unprecedented situation, we, major political parties of various countries tasked with the weighty responsibility of improving people’s wellbeing, promoting national development and safeguarding world peace and stability, hereby issue our joint appeal as follows:

I. We extend our deep sympathies and solicitude to those who are suffering from pain and under life threat of COVID-19 as well as their bereaved families. We also pay our loftiest tribute to all the people, health workers in particular, who devote themselves to saving lives and protecting people’s health. Our profound condolences go to those who unfortunately passed away in the outbreak.

II. We have recognised that if the COVID-19 outbreak could not be effectively contained in a prompt manner, it would inflict even greater harm to the lives, safety and health of even more people, and exert a severe impact on the economic and social development of most countries as well as international exchanges and cooperation. We call on all countries to put the lives, safety and health of the people above everything else and take resolute and forceful measures to put an end to the spread of the epidemic.  

III. We encourage countries to make contingency plans and strategies to combat the epidemic in light of their specific national conditions, with equal emphasis on containing further spread of the epidemic and on patient treatment. Meanwhile, modern science and technology must be applied to the full to ensure the best possible results as speedily as possible.

IV. We call on the general public of all countries to comply with epidemic prevention and mitigation measures with a due sense of social responsibility. We encourage countries to fully leverage the strength of civil society organisations and volunteers with a view to unleashing the power of all social sectors to combat the epidemic. 

V. We encourage all countries, while devoting efforts to epidemic control, to adopt an integrated approach to ensure economic and social development and honour their commitment to people’s living standards and social progress. As per recommendations of the World Health Organisation, countries are also encouraged to maintain an appropriate level of international exchanges, and the flow of trade, capital and personnel worldwide, in particular to facilitate the cross-border transportation of urgently needed medical equipment and protective materials for epidemic prevention.

VI. We are aware that virus respects no borders and no country can respond to the challenges alone in the face of the outbreak. Countries must enhance their consciousness of a common community with a shared future for mankind and render each other mutual support and help in an even more proactive manner as more difficult situation arises. To this end, closer international cooperation will enable us to defeat the virus, humanity’s common enemy.

VII. We take note of the significant progress in epidemic prevention and control in China and some other countries, which has bought time and offered experience for the rest of the international community. We highly commend countries including China for adopting an open, transparent and responsible attitude to disclose epidemic related information in a timely fashion, share experience on epidemic response and patient treatment, and in particular provide to the best of their ability to other affected countries medical and other supplies. These represent a major contribution to the global fight against the epidemic, boosting hope and confidence of countries to win the battle.

VIII. We encourage countries to strengthen the sharing of experience and medical cooperation in containing the outbreak, including joint research and development of specific medicine and vaccine. We call on the provision of material, technical and other support to developing countries and countries in need. Let the sunlight of cooperation disperse the darkness of the epidemic.

IX. We call for science-based professional discussion on issues like epidemic prevention measures and the origin of the virus. We strongly oppose politicisation of public health issues and stigmatisation of other countries in the name of epidemic control. We stand firmly against all discriminatory comments and practices against any country, region or ethnic group, and any attempt to undermine the cooperation of countries to contain the epidemic.  

X. We are of the view that the epidemic has laid bare the need for all countries to further foster the global governance outlook of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration and to support the core role of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation in global public health governance. We call for all parties to enhance coordination and cooperation within the framework of G20 and other international mechanisms for joint prevention and control as we strive to build a global community with a shared future for public health.

As major political parties from countries of the world, we undertake to maintain close communication under the unusual circumstances of an epidemic outbreak and ensure better performance of the due role of political guidance for the purpose of injecting political energy to the global fight against the outbreak. We firmly believe that all current difficulties are only temporary, just as the sunlight shall eventually shine after each storm. So long as the international community makes concerted efforts with confidence and resolve and takes a science-based and targeted approach, it shall definitely win the final victory in a global campaign against the epidemic. It is our belief that, after the epidemic, the community with a shared future for mankind will emerge even stronger and humanity will embrace an even brighter tomorrow.

Thursday, April 2, 2020