German envoy terms int’l cooperation, solidarity imperative to fight COVID-19


ISLAMABAD, APR 17 (DNA) – Bernhard Schlagheck, German Ambassador to Pakistan, has said that the greater international cooperation and solidarity is critically important to deal with the global crisis emanated from the coronavirus pandemic.

The rescheduling of the debts of the developing countries by the international financial institution is a vital development in this regard that would allow the countries stressed by the debt servicing to pay more attention on improving their healthcare systems in the face of current crisis.

He said that the telephonic conversation between Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan and Angela Merkell, Chancellor of Germany, has indeed played a role in mobilizing this significant step.  

The honorable ambassador said this while sharing his mind with audience at online policy dialogue titled ‘Lessons from Germany to Deal with COVID19’ organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Friday.

He said the crisis is yet to be over in Germany. However, it’s being dealt through high testing which is 1.7 million so far  in addition to effective quarantine and social distancing. Besides, we have a tested healthcare system and in the face of this challenge, a response strategy was developed rapidly and now a gradual reopening of the business is being worked upon, he added.

Mr Schlagheck while highlighting the importance of vibrantly functioning healthcare systems, said that it’s absolutely important for the developing countries including Pakistan to pay immediate attention on improving their healthcare systems for overall wellbeing of the society.  He said that the federal government of system in some countries has posed the challenge if effective decision-making but on the flip side of it, taking local communities and people on board in such decision-making is highly important to maintain transparency.

He said that the system has worked exceptionally well in Germany where all the federating units have played quite effective role to respond coronavirus crisis.

The German envoy in Pakistan said that the world cannot afford big powers’ competition anymore and it’s time to enhance international cooperation, especially by sharing the scientific research and expertise with the developing countries by the developed world.  He said the re rescheduling of debts of the developing countries is an important signal in this regard which would provide these countries much needed spaces to pay attention on healthcare sector.

Responding to several queries raise by the audience, Mr Schlagheck said that Germany may offer a number of research and learning opportunities for the Pakistani students and research institutes.

Some of such facilities are already being availed by Pakistani students in the form of various scholarships. He said Germany would explore more areas to work in Pakistan and lend cooperation in different fields in after the coronavirus crisis is over.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Exective Director SDPI, earlier highlighted the importance of international cooperation including economic and technological support from developed countries to developing countries.

He said this the basic fact must be comprehended at every level that no one in the world could be considered safe even a single individual is left vulnerable to pandemics such as coronavirus. He said that the recent global crisis should be considered as an awakening call to depart from the past and developed the world based on cooperation and broader inclusion.=DNA