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Pilot Operation of Cooperative Project of Northeast Asia Cooperation for Health Security (Aug. 17)

  • Date : 2021-08-19 11:47:39
  • hit : 1836

1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea provided Mongolia with some $300,000 worth of COVID-19 diagnostic kits as part of the pilot operation of the “medical supplies reserve for public health emergencies” system, which is one of the signature cooperation projects implemented within the framework of the Northeast Asia Cooperation for Health Security (NEACHS) initiative.

° The “medical supplies reserve for public health emergencies” system, proposed by Korea, is a cooperative project that is currently under discussion among the participating countries of the NEACHS to strengthen their co-preparedness to public health emergencies such as COVID-19.

- The NEACHS is a regional cooperation initiative aimed at strengthening joint response capacity to transboundary health security issues including COVID-19 and other new infectious diseases.

- The initiative was proposed by President Moon Jae-in in his keynote speech at the UN General Assembly session in September 2020. A track-1.5 meeting was launched on December 29, 2020, to implement the initiative. The meeting brought together diplomatic and health officials as well as academic experts from Korea, the United States, China, Japan, Russia and Mongolia.

- The virtual 2nd and 3rd meetings were held in a track-1 form among diplomatic and health officials on March 30, 2021 and May 27, 2021, respectively. The participants discussed ways to strengthen the momentum for developing the NEACHS initiative through the implementation of signature cooperation projects and the adoption of the Terms of Reference of the NEACHS.

※ The “medical supplies reserve for public health emergencies” system
- It calls for the participating countries to earmark a certain amount of medical supplies in advance and provide them (in the form of a purchase or grant) to a country under a regional health crisis when requested promptly after bilateral consultations.

2. In this regard, the Korean Embassy in Mongolia and the Mongolian government held a handover ceremony at Mongolia’s Ministry of Health on August 17, 2021.

° Ambassador of Korea to Mongolia Lee Yeohong underscored that the Korean government is endeavoring to strengthen joint response capabilities among countries in the region through the NEACHS amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. He also voiced hope that the pilot operation of the reserve system through the provision of this assistance will serve as a stepping stone for the solid development of the NEACHS.

° In response, Health Minister of Mongolia Sereejav Enkhbold commended Korea’s efforts to lead transboundary health security cooperation in the region amid the COVID-19 resurgence. He also noted with appreciation that this assistance will substantially help the Mongolian government respond promptly to COVID-19.

3. In addition to the medical supplies reserve system, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea will continue efforts to strengthen the NEACHS initiative and produce tangible results from it by making progress in cooperative projects such as joint education and training programs for COVID-19 response personnel, and in the standardization of fast-track procedures.