23 March 2020. The unprecedented situation created by the rapid spread of COVID-19 disease around the world, reminds us that global threats know no borders. Some of the fastest and most concerning outbreaks of cases recorded are now found in some Euro-Mediterranean countries. COVID-19 is caused by a virus that is unique in many ways, and understanding more about it is fundamental to be able to reduce fear and increase proactivity. Despite this, the collective response of our citizens has shown we possess tools of great power, more important than ever: resilience and solidarity.
Through this statement, the Union for the Mediterranean wishes to express that, first and foremost, our thoughts are with of the citizens of the Euro-Mediterranean region, as the rise and escalation of this pandemic has affected our global family leading to an unprecedented situation in our lifetimes. Their wellness is our primary concern.
We join the millions and thousands who have united in applause from their balconies and windows across the region, as well as throughout the world. We express our gratitude and admiration to the health professionals, on the front lines, as well as those maintaining vital services running. Their solidarity, courage and tenacity are helping us all combat the effects of the coronavirus at great risk to themselves.
At the same time, we underline the importance of staying aligned with the World Health Organization (WHO)’s recommendations and our solid commitment to the health authorities, as we all cooperate in the fight against this disease. The UfM Secretariat has taken measures in accordance with official advice to restrict or postpone certain activities, but our teams are actively working to great effect from the safety of their homes. We are determined, attentive and active, for when we do overcome this virus, our task will be to contribute, through our regional dialogue and cooperation initiatives, to the recovery of our economies and the revival of those industries and areas of work hit hardest.
The UfM therefore wishes to reassert its commitment to seeking joint solutions to the new challenges we are presented with, not only in the field of health, but also civil protection, job creation, business development and others. In these extraordinary times, this kind of positive resolve is essential, as is a clear vision as we concentrate efforts on our two fundamental pillars of action: human and sustainable development.
We stand with our citizens and with the world at large in these trying times. We wish for a full recovery for all the infected and we are confident that together we will overcome this new challenging crisis once and for all.