Protecting right to health amid pandemic emphasized at human rights forum
July 29,2022   By:Xinhua
BEIJING, July 29, 2022 -- Attendees at a forum on human rights held in Beijing have highlighted the need to better protect people's right to health amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They also lauded China's efforts to fight the virus and improve people's health.
"The health contingency caused by the worldwide spread of COVID-19 has placed health at the center of almost every debate in the international community," said Martha Delgado Peralta, deputy secretary for multilateral affairs and human rights at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, adding that health, a fundamental human right, needs to be further guaranteed.
Malaysian expert Peter T.C. Chang echoed Peralta as he noted that the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the inequity of global healthcare, as many in the developing world have been left unprotected and vulnerable.
Although the world is emerging from the worst of the pandemic, it is imperative that the world remain vigilant and be better prepared for the next possible public health crisis, said Chang, deputy director of the institute of China studies at the University of Malaya.
China has played a critical role in assisting developing countries in boosting medical infrastructure, resources and expertise necessary to cope with public health emergencies, Chang said.
In ensuring people's right to health, China has made substantial progress in promoting the efficiency, quality, equality, accessibility and affordability of health and medical services, said Liang Wannian, director of the Institute for Healthy China at Tsinghua University.
By May, China had donated about 2.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to other countries and international organizations, official data showed.
Health is considered as a fundamental human right, indispensable for the exercise of many other human rights -- in particular, the right to development -- and necessary for living a life in dignity, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The 2022 Beijing Forum on Human Rights, held on Tuesday, was the 10th of its kind since the forum was initiated in 2008. Some 200 senior officials, researchers and diplomats from approximately 70 countries and international organizations attended the event in person or via video link. 
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