Sat, 04 Sep 2021 - 10:06 GMT
Sat, 04 Sep 2021 - 10:06 GMT
GENEVA - 4 September 2021: WHO hosted in Geneva "Geneva Global Solidarity Conference to confront Corona pandemic", where the Secretary General of the MWL Sheikh Dr. Muhammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa delivered an opening speech in the conference. This conference was attended by the Director General of WHO, the SG of IFRC, the World Council of Churches, leaders of international organizations, and a number of government and civil figures; and the dialogue between the participants was moderated by the former PM of Norway, Kjell Bondevik.
The participants stressed the importance of the religious leaders' role in raising the societies' awareness on dealing with the pandemic, especially the initiative to take vaccines, and suggested a road map for the fair distribution of vaccines.
Dr. Al-Issa said that the efforts of the WHO to reduce the suffering of our world from this pandemic considered as great efforts to achieve global peace, as WHO carefully followed this pandemic, and provided effective instructions from its reliable international position, and this contributed significantly to alleviating the suffering of this pandemic, and the safety of people's lives.
Dr. Al-Issa added, "In the time of the Corona pandemic, the WHO has become a global peacemaker against the threat of such deadly enemy targeted our entire world without exception, and by WHO's continuous and highly efficient efforts, the fatality of this pandemic has been greatly reduced, as well as the exhaustion of health facilities". He stressed that WHO has efficiently led those countries of the world who have awareness and seriousness to the correct confrontation to defeat our common enemy, which has exhausted and frightened our world even more than wars did.
Dr. Al-Issa praised the awarding of Norway's Bridge-Building Award to the Director General of WHO, stressing that "WHO since then has increased its efforts for our physical and psychological peace, and it is truly considered as an icon of world peace in the time of Corona". He added that the world would not be able to confront this pandemic except through its serious cooperation, which is what the WHO calls for. He also added, "Our national societies around the world would not be able to cooperate in this except by enhancing awareness among individuals and institutions, and this must be accompanied by well-thought-out programs and effective laws in the light of the advice and guidance of the WHO".
Dr. Al-Issa talked also about the problems facing some national societies, including the problem of awareness of the importance of immunization, and the problem of providing immunization to all, especially poor countries. Stressing that the first problem can be treated through influential people in societies, and by effective laws that surround the complacency of immunization, wishing if all countries agreed not to allow entry without a health passport approved by the WHO.
Dr. Al-Issa also reviewed the efforts of the MWL since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, starting from its headquarters in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, saying: “Our efforts in confronting the pandemic are based on our Islamic values with its comprehensive humanity without discrimination, within parallel stages." He stated that MWL's efforts included material assistance in direct coordination with governments, as well as medical equipment for health institutions, and food aid for vulnerable groups. In addition to working to spread preventive awareness in more than 30 countries around the world, where the focus was on the most affected countries. He stated that these efforts provided without distinction in this humanitarian work for any consideration, whether religious, ethnic, political or otherwise, adding that, "We will continue our efforts, which we see as our duty".
Dr. Al-Issa added, "We have helped some rich European countries when they needed help at the time of the pandemic, after their health system was on the verge of collapse. This is our humanitarian duty with everyone, which made this pandemic bear many important lessons for us that we still benefit from every day. The most important of which are realizing that the world should unite and act as one family, no matter how many ideas and interests trying to divide us".
Dr. Al-Issa pointed out that some ideas seemingly based on religion, whether among some Muslims or others, sometimes formed a barrier against taking vaccinations. He said, "We, on our part, have done what is necessary to raise awareness, especially educating influential religious leaders, in cooperation with our partners in countries that require intervention to help. The last of these programs is "Imams for Vaccin" program, to motivate everyone to take vaccinations, and clarifying the religious aspect for them to correct concepts erroneous".
At the end of his speech, Dr. Al-Issa explained the importance of equitable distribution of vaccines, for everyone’s immunity against the threat of this pandemic.
The Director General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, "This pandemic will end when we all decide to put an end to it, as we, cooperating with together, have the decision to do so, and we have all the tools that help us to prevent corona, conduct tests and treat this virus". He explained that a large number of regions and countries are witnessing a sharp rise in cases of infection and death due to Covid-19. The reason behind this is simply the high rate of social contact and mobility, the absence of health and social precautions, the emergence of rapidly transmitting mutants, and inequality in the availability of vaccines. The reason behind this is simply the high rate of social contact and mobility, the absence of health and social precautions, the emergence of rapidly transmitting mutants, and the inequality in the availability of vaccines. Stressing that the causes of the spread are not related to epidemiology, but rather to social, political and economic dynamics, where misleading information dominated science, and the result is a strong growth of the virus.
He stressed that the Coronavirus has demonstrated the critical importance of global solidarity in order to confront common threats, as all of us, governments, international organizations, institutions, the private sector, civil societies and religious institutions, have a role to play.
The Acting General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev. Professor. Ioan Sauca, called for maintaining dialogue and cooperation at the global level against this pandemic, stressing that the main lesson we have learned from this pandemic is our common fragility and our common destiny as one humankind.
He said, "It is our responsibility to participate multilaterally in alleviating the severity of this pandemic, and even if the virus and its variants continue to spread, the task of vaccination, protecting the population and helping them continue to weaken our economic and health systems, but let us not allow it to weaken our courage and determination".
The Secretary General of IFRC, Jagan Chapagain, spoke about the crises facing the world today, stressing that there is no way to confront these crises except through a united front that includes religious institutions, the public sector and society as a whole.
He explained that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequality and worsened humanitarian conditions around the world. Travel and trade restrictions have also hampered global solidarity to alleviate humanitarian conditions, but they have also demonstrated the strength of local communities to come together and leverage their resources to meet their needs.