BEIJING, Sept. 18 -- The handover ceremony of COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government to the UN peacekeepers was held via video link on September 17.
At the ceremony, Ambassador Geng Shuang, the deputy permanent representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations, and Christian Francis Saunders, the assistant secretary-general for supply chain management of Department of Operational Support (DOS) under the United Nations (UN), respectively on behalf of the Chinese government and the UN, signed the handover certificates for China's donation of 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the UN peacekeepers.
Representatives from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China International Development Cooperation Agency and the vaccine producer Sinopharm attended the ceremony.
Zhang Maoyu, vice chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency, said that the UN peacekeeping operation is an important approach to maintaining the world peace and security, and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about new challenges to the safety of the peacekeepers.
He pointed out that in a bid to guarantee their health and help them better perform duties, China donated COVID-19 vaccines to the UN peacekeepers, with the African mission areas being given priority in vaccination. This fully demonstrates China's support for multilateralism and the UN, as well as China’s concern for peacekeepers.
China will continue to deepen the international anti-pandemic cooperation, promote the global economic stability and recovery in the post-pandemic period and promote the establishment of community with a shared future for mankind, Zhang added.
Saunders extended sincere thanks to the Chinese government for its assistance on behalf of the UN Secretary-General Guterres and the UN system. He stated that the China’s timely donation of COVID-19 vaccines is essential to effectively improve the UN's capacity in responding to the pandemic and help the peacekeepers better fulfill their missions. These vaccines will be distributed to the front-line peacekeepers as soon as possible through the vaccination programme of the UN system.