New Delhi: Commonwealth leaders, comprising Indian representatives, have agreed on solutions to combat the impact of COVID-19.
They held a virtual meeting on Wednesday to share solutions and ways of working that can help minimising the effects of the pandemic.
Many member countries are facing unprecedented challenges due to the global health emergency and its economic and social ramifications, the Commonwealth secretariat told IANS in a statement.
These issues combined with the long-term threat of climate change and the ongoing cyclone, and impending hurricane season, means that COVID-19 is seen as a substantial "tipping point" threat that has the potential to push member states into a period of significant crisis if swift and coordinated action is not taken.
The meeting was held after the Commonwealth Secretariat received significant support for such a meeting from a majority of member states.
The meeting saw participants from across the Commonwealth explore and exchange solutions on issues as diverse as technological tools that have helped in combating the COVID-19 and the role of good governance in supporting the fight against the disease.
The issues include accelerating cooperation on trade and finance so as to mitigate against the economic impact of COVID-19, urgent action to tackle the acute and long-term impacts of climate change and for the Commonwealth to take the lead in building a "vision for a freer more equal kinder and collaborative world".
The meeting also observed that when the Commonwealth family acts together that "our joint action changes the lives of our people forever".
It noted that multilateral approaches are required to address all of these challenges and especially to support more vulnerable members such as the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states, in light of the specific challenges they face.
The whole Commonwealth has been affected by COVID-19.
As of June 24, there are more than 1.37 million confirmed cases in the Commonwealth. Seven member countries are among the world''s 12 nations that have not reported any cases.
The Commonwealth has developed a COVID-19 tracker that shows daily cases in member countries.
The tool is designed to monitor and understand how the virus is impairing Commonwealth countries and which countries will need the most help.
The tracker identifies risks, gaps, and key areas where the Commonwealth can add value in supporting the fight against the virus.
Health ministers from across the Commonwealth virtually met on May 14 for their annual summit and agreed to coordinate their response in tackling the pandemic.