Paris Peace Forum eyes int’l cooperation to fight COVID-19: forum president

PARIS, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) — The Paris Peace Forum this year is strongly marked by the need for international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, said Pascal Lamy, president of the three-day event which opened here on Wednesday.

“We are still in the emergency. The Paris Peace Forum this year is strongly marked by the need for international cooperation in the fight against COVID. We will particularly focus on the issue of vaccines,” Lamy said in a telephone interview with Xinhua.

Europe and China can cooperate more in terms of funding initiatives aimed at ensuring the availability of vaccines to those who have no access to them, said Lamy, who was also the former director-general of the World Trade Organization.

Scientific cooperation, both in hard sciences and human sciences, is another field that Lamy envisions to develop.

“Obviously, there is a huge field in the health sector, opened by the COVID crisis,” he said.

Held mainly in the digital format for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the third Paris Peace Forum will be an interactive platform with over 10,000 participants, featuring some 70 roundtables and 100 projects, nearly half of which are relevant to COVID-19 and global health.

“This proves that the Paris Peace Forum, as a new approach to international issues in a less diplomatic and more diverse way, has found its audience,” Lamy said.

The Paris Peace Forum is based on the idea that multilateralism should not only concern sovereign states, but also other actors in international life, such as non-governmental organizations, companies, major academic institutions, cities and regions, he said.

Lamy noted that China-France cooperation has long been a part of the cooperation between China and the European Union and that environmental issues have been a subject of this working together for years.

“Since China has set the target of becoming carbon neutral by 2060, while Europe has set its own target by 2050, we have more reasons to work together in this global approach,” said Lamy.

The Paris Peace Forum was established at the initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron in 2018. It aims at convening leaders and actors from civil society around the world to advance concrete global governance solutions. 

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