Abe tells Guterres Japan to work closely with U.N. over coronavirus

May 22 ,2020. 4 hours ago – 13:54 KYODO NEWS

TOKYO – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres by phone on Friday that Japan will work closely with the international body and related agencies to cope with the ongoing novel coronavirus crisis, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

During the phone conversation, Abe and Guterres agreed on the need to prevent a health crisis in developing nations due to the coronavirus pandemic and to achieve a quick global economic recovery, the ministry said.

People in poor nations are more vulnerable to a viral outbreak due to a lack of access to basic health care services or medical equipment and supplies.

Abe said Japan wants to take the lead in global efforts to overcome the crisis with its focus on human security and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, according to the ministry. The SDGs aim to reduce poverty and improve health care among other targets.

Since the new coronavirus was first detected in China late last year, it has spread globally, leading the World Health Organization, a specialized U.N. agency, to call it a pandemic.

The WHO is now the target of criticism from the United States, which accuses it of being China-centric, threatening to leave the Geneva-based body.