United Nations’ Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a three-point global ‘Call to Action’ on April 23 to cushion the fallout from COVID-19 pandemic. In his remark to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Guterres said that developing countries need massive and immediate support and the global body needs to stand by its commitment to leave no one behind.
Calling it a defining moment in human history, the UN chief said that the unprecedented scale of the crisis demands an unprecedented response. Guterres added that the pandemic showed everyone is at risk because the world is only as strong as the weakest health system. He asserted that the pandemic is not only a health crisis but also a humanitarian crisis.
In his three-point Call to Action, the UN Secretary-General said that firstly there is a need to take decisive action to suppress the virus and alleviate suffering. He added that such action demands a globally coordinated health response led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which requires support, solidarity and resources.
“We must pool our efforts to assist countries at risk, strengthen and expand their health systems, and stop transmission through the combination of testing, contact-tracing and quarantine, associated with appropriate restrictions on movement and contact,” said the UN chief.
Explaining the second point, Guterres said that the UN must adopt a large-scale and comprehensive response to tackle the devastating socio-economic consequences. He emphasised the need for greater resources for the International Monetary Fund through the issuance of new Special Drawing Rights and enhanced support for the World Bank Group and other global financial institutions.
For the third step, the UN chief said that returning to the previous path is simply not an option and all efforts must go towards building sustainable and resilient pathways to tackle the climate crisis and address the root causes of poverty, inequality and hunger. He added that the principles of peace, solidarity and human dignity remain as relevant and important as ever.
(Image credit: AP)