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    • High Level Experts Working Group Meets to Discuss ECO Health Declaration
      High Level Experts Working Group Meets to Discuss ECO Health Declaration
      A High Level Experts Working Group met virtually on November 2, 2020 to discuss and finalize an ECO declaration on health for consideration of the relevant ECO Ministerial Meeting. The event, organized by the Islamic Republic of Iran, was attended by Representatives from member countries and the relevant officials of the ECO Secretariat.

      The Chair of the Meeting and head of the Iranian Delegation, Dr. Mohammad Reza Malek, inaugurated the meeting. While welcoming the participants, he requested a one-minute silence to be observed over the loss of precious human lives due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In his remarks, he mentioned that leadership, solidarity, “Whole of Government, Whole of Society approach”, community engagement, inter-sectoral collaborations, evidence-based interventions, and inter-country coordination are necessary instruments for COVID pandemic management in the courtiers of ECO region.

      Addressing the meeting, the ECO Secretary General, H.E. Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour expressed his sincere and earnest pleasure on the birthday occasion of the beloved Prophet/Khatam al-Anbiya, Hazrat Mohammad (SAW), who was sent as the Messenger of peace, friendship, freedom, justice and equality to the entire human beings, irrespective of their gender and colour. While congratulating the participants of the meeting on this blessed occasion, Dr. Soleimanpour noted that the time being was, unfortunately, witnessing an increased blasphemous tendency, bearing the excuse of freedom of expression that continues to pose degrading behavior towards the most eminent, holy and founding figure of Islam which the humanity was ever blessed with. The ECO Secretary General added that such an irritating and unacceptable approach, not only makes alarming call for the Muslims’ unity, but also appears to be detrimental to human co-existence. He lamented the misinterpretation of freedom of speech and the provoked violence thereto which would affect peaceful concomitance as well as economic growth, human development and steady progress of societies.

      The ECO Secretary underlined, in his remarks, that the ongoing pandemic made us realize the need to be more cooperative, adopting timely approaches to address all areas of mutual interests and benefits, especially the most important health sector, in order to shoulder and support the lives and human capital of our region. He hoped that such interactions amongst the ECO Member States would help secure the desired results and pave a smooth way for an accelerated and expanded regional cooperation in the health sector.

      In his statement, the ECO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Kanan Nazarov conveyed condolences to the Republic of Azerbaijan over the loss of civilians as a result of Armenian aggression, as well as for the Azerbaijani martyrs who sacrificed their lives to defend territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. He also extended condolences to the Republic of Turkey over the loss of its citizens during the recent earthquake in the city of Izmir. In the context of COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Kanan noted that the people of ECO region were awaiting responsive actions from their governments, regional organizations and the international community to get back to their normal lives and conditions. He underscored the role of ECO health sector to be more pivotal and important for countering the devastating health crisis.

      The Meeting, inter alia, discussed the ways and means to address the impacts of the ongoing pandemic, strengthen regional consultation, coordinate national actions, exchange experiences and best practices as well as develop collective assistance mechanism for provision of emergency relief to the most affected and deserving Member States.

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