President Ashraf Ghani’s Speech at Online Summit Level Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group in response to COVID-19



Ottawa- May 04, 2020

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

President Ilham Aliyev, Excellences Heads of State and Government, Heads of Agencies and Delegations:

Covid-19 is a hyper event, plunging our interconnected world into turmoil by disrupting our normal modes of conduct and forms of sociability. Deep uncertainty regarding the future, across the world, therefore, characterizes the Corona –effect. We may never comprehend its complexity but are likely to remember history as before and after Covid-19. Its effect is becoming clearer by the day, as it wreaks havoc on lives and livelihoods and poses an unparalleled challenge to our scientific capabilities and medical professionals. The scale and scope of its disruptive and destructive effect requires us to confront turmoil through robust collective action, by taking risks, nurturing of solidarity, strengthening of bonds of citizenship, and perusing strategies of cooperative advantage in regional and international relations.

To stand united against Covid-19 is to choose alignment, as controlling it requires alignment at the level of humanity. We stand united in sympathy and solidarity with the victims of Covid-19 across the world. We offer deep appreciation for the medical profession in their heroic efforts and support the efforts of the global scientific community to win the race against Covid-19 in developing a vaccine. Our calling as public servants and our duty as heads of state and government make it imperative to think beyond the pain of the moment and to create the necessary alignments at the local, national, regional and global levels to meet the expectations of our fellow human beings and fellow citizens for providing relief, recovery and ushering of normalcy. To honor the spirit of non-alignment is to align the multilateral and national forms of cooperation and solidarity against Covid-19 and to resolve to prevent the collective gains of the movement against poverty, hunger, deprivation, inequality and instability. The specter of Covid-19 is haunting humanity. We need aligned action to marshal the true sense of urgency to overcome it.

To enable us to lead and manage the response in Afghanistan, we identified five phases: acknowledgement; diffusion; adversity; relief; and recovery, following the premise that the duration of each phase, the scale and scope of its impact and the response of the people will be uncertain. Intensive consultations enabled us to map our societal vulnerabilities and chart the expectations of our fellow citizens from their state. Working closely with actors in the market, we focused on ensuring of food security and coordination with our neighbors near and far to ensure the functioning of supply-chains and value chains. Using technology to engage public servants and elected officials across all levels of government enabled us to understand the expectations and to reallocate and reprogram resources to focus on public awareness, relief, recovery, regional connectivity and global partnerships and solidarity. As listing all the countries, organizations and individuals that have helped us will require time; let me express gratitude for the assistance rendered to us in this global and regional hour of need. As we are still in the phases of awareness and diffusion, we do not want to make predictions but focus all our efforts on possible adversity and relief and recovery.
War, unfortunately, casts a long shadow over focused efforts against Covid-19, for the Taliban have yet to accept our offer of a humanitarian ceasefire. We ask all members of the non-aligned movement to call upon the Taliban to cease the senseless violence and engage in the political process to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan and the region.

Mastering A Hyper-Event
Covid-19 has disrupted our habits of normalcy as well as assumptions of effectiveness and efficiency regarding institutions, organizations at the local, national, regional and global levels. As the Covid-19 is as disruptive as WWII, overcoming its effect is going require a true sense of urgency to re-examine the capacity, capability and suitability of international institutions and regional organizations designed to meet the challenges of the mid-20th century and the subsequent decades of polarization. We, the Afghan people, who have suffered for 40 years from the games of polarization and proxy conflict, will like to transform our country into a platform of regional and global cooperation. Join us in this noble quest.
Let me conclude by thanking President Aliyov for bringing us together and Prime Minister Modi for hosting the SAARC VTC. We need these exchanges and forums to unite against Covid-19 and plan a better world.

Last modified on Tuesday, 05/05/2020

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