Open Letter to President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea on the government’s commitment to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in vulnerable countries

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145 civil society organisations (CSOs) from about 50 countries sent an open letter to H.E. Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, urging the government to commit and lead the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic especially in vulnerable countries. Many CSOs — most of which are members of international networks such as Pax Christi — and about 40 individuals joined this campaign for a week from 17-23 April 2020

The  open letter five emphasizes five specific points:

  1. Continue to play a proactive leadership role internationally in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic while respecting human rights and democratic principles.
  2. Increase humanitarian assistance to help countries in need, especially in the least developed countries and fragile states that are the most vulnerable in overcoming unprecedented global challenges. 
  3. Provide support – moral, political and financial – to protect civic space and to strengthen the role of civil society in tackling adverse consequences of the COVID19 pandemic. 
  4. Take concrete actions immediately by providing necessary financial assistance to enable CSOs to operate on the ground to prevent and reduce human suffering in vulnerable countries. 
  5. Lead a global action to end stigmatization, xenophobia, racism against social minorities and vulnerable populations like older persons, persons with disabilities, migrants, internally displaced persons, refugees, and indigenous peoples in this global fight. 

The letter highlights the success of the Korean government’s response to COVID-19, which was based on the principles of ‘transparency, openness and democracy’ according to international humanitarian and human rights norms, as a good example to follow.