Hon. Nandcoomar Bodha, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade participated, through a video conference on 4 May 2020, in the Online Summit Meeting of the NAM Contact Group in response to Covid-19, convened by H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Chair of the NAM.
The theme of the Summit was “United against COVID-19 pandemic”. Its objective was to make an effective contribution to the global efforts in tackling the unprecedented disruptive effects of the pandemic.
The Summit was attended by over 30 NAM Member States, including more than 20 at Heads of State and Government level. The President of the 74th UN General Assembly, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) also addressed the Summit. The Secretary General of the UN and the High Representative, Vice President of the European Commission sent video messages to the Summit.
In his statement, Hon. Bodha mentioned the actions taken since mid-March 2020, following the first three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mauritius. He made an appeal for collective action and solidarity of the NAM Member States for special measures to be adopted to assist Africa and Small Island Developing States to gain access to medical supplies and equipment. He highlighted that the collective efforts should also be aimed at ensuring food security and prevent any disruption to global food supply chains. Hon. Minister also called on the international financial institutions and the donor community to adopt flexible conditions of financing for post Covid-19 recovery in order not to increase the debt burden, especially for middle-income countries and SIDS such as Mauritius.
The Summit concluded with the adoption of a Declaration through which NAM leaders established a Task Force that will work on a common database reflecting the basic medical, social and humanitarian needs of the NAM Member States. The database will be submitted to all donor countries, international humanitarian organisations, international financial institutions, transnational private entities implementing social responsibility projects and others for possible support and assistance.