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Datum objave: 25.03.2020
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‘Solidarity, hope’ and coordinated global response needed to tackle COVID-19 pandemic, says UN chief

Coronavirus: UN Chief Antonio Guterres Calls For 'Global Ceasefire' To Unite Against COVID-19

‘Solidarity, hope’ and coordinated global response needed to tackle COVID-19 pandemic, says UN chief

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1059752


As public fear and uncertainty grow around the COVID-19 pandemic, “more than ever before, we need solidarity, hope and the political will to see this crisis through together,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday in his first virtual press conference.

Unlike any global health crisis in the 75-year history of the United Nations, the coronavirus pandemic is “spreading human suffering, infecting the global economy and upending people’s lives”, he added

Calling for global solidarity, Mr. Guterres said: “Our human family is stressed, and the social fabric is being torn. People are suffering, sick and scared”.

And as country-level responses cannot single-handedly address the global scale and complexity of the crisis, he maintained that “coordinated, decisive and innovative policy action” is needed from the world’s leading economies.   

Mr. Guterres said that he looks forward to participating in the G20 leaders’ emergency summit next week to respond to the pandemic’s “epic challenge”.

“My central message is clear”, he spelled out: “We are in an unprecedented situation and the normal rules no longer apply”.

Indicating that “we are at war with a virus”, the UN chief stressed that creative responses “must match the unique nature of the crisis – and the magnitude of the response must match its scale”.

And although COVID-19 is killing people and attacking economies, by managing the crisis well, “we can steer the recovery toward a more sustainable and inclusive path”, he said. 

“I call on world leaders to come together and offer an urgent and coordinated response to this global crisis,” he said. 

The UN chief said that tackling the health emergency was his number one concern and advocated for scaled-up health spending to cover, among other things and “without stigma”, testing, supporting health care workers and ensuring adequate supplies.

“It has been proven that the virus can be contained.  It must be contained”, he said, advising to move from a country-by-country strategy to a “coordinated global response, including helping countries that are less prepared to tackle the crisis”. 

“Global solidarity is not only a moral imperative, it is in everyone’s interests”, he stated and urged Governments to fully meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) appeals, saying, “we are only as strong as the weakest health system”.

Global solidarity is not only a moral imperative, it is in everyone’s interests -- UN chief


As the second crisis priority, Mr. Guterres pointed to social impact and the economic response and recovery.

He cited a new International Labour Organization (ILOreport projecting that workers could lose some $3.4 trillion in income by year’s end.

But the world is not experiencing an ordinary shock in supply and demand, “it is a shock to society as a whole”, he said. 

“Most fundamentally, we need to focus on people – the most vulnerable, low-wage workers, small and medium enterprises” explained the UN chief. “That means wage support, insurance, social protection, preventing bankruptcies and job loss”. 

He elaborated that “the recovery must not come on the backs of the poorest – and we cannot create a legion of new poor” and pushed for supporting informal economy workers and countries less able to respond.

Appealing for a global financial commitment, he noted that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and other international financial institutions would play a key role.  

Mr. Guterres encouraged dismantling trade barriers and re-establishing supply chains.

He also spoke of the pandemic’s impact on women, saying that they are “disproportionally carrying the burden at home and in the wider economy” and on children, noting that more than 800 million are currently not in class, “many of whom rely on school to provide their only meal”.  

“As people’s lives are disrupted, isolated and upturned, we must prevent this pandemic from turning into a crisis of mental health”, the Secretary-General continued, indicating the need to maintain support programmes for the most vulnerable, underlining that “humanitarian needs must not be sacrificed”.  

Against this backdrop, Mr. Guterres final point was that we have a responsibility to “recover better”. 

“We must ensure that lessons are learned and that this crisis provides a watershed moment for health emergency preparedness and for investment in critical 21st century public services and the effective delivery of global public goods”, he said.


Coronavirus: UN Chief Antonio Guterres Calls For 'Global Ceasefire' To Unite Against COVID-19

https://news.abplive.com/news/world/coronavirus-un-chief-antonio-guterres-calls-for-global-ceasefire-to-unite-against-covid-19-1181099


In keeping with the UN headquarters directives and New York City regulations against gatherings, Guterres held the news conference via interactive teleconferencing.

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has made an emotional plea to put all "armed conflicts on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives" against coronavirus.

Calling for a "global ceasefire," he said at a news conference on Monday, "The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war. That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world."
He was overcome by emotions as he started to speak and broke off and gathered himself to start again to speak to a world where conflicts rage even as it is engulfed by coronavirus.


In keeping with the UN headquarters directives and New York City regulations against gatherings, Guterres held the news conference via interactive teleconferencing.

He said, "To bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, end the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world. It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now."

Guterres also appealed for a coordinated international response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We need a much stronger coordination, coordination in suppression of the disease, coordination in making sure that not only the developed countries can respond effectively to the disease but that there is massive support to the developing world not to let the disease spread like wildfire in the developing world," he said.

A "huge package" was also needed "to respond to the economic and social consequences," he said.

But it should not be like the bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis which focused on financial centres and it should instead "make households be afloat, make businesses be afloat, keep societies afloat." he said.

"A double-digit GDP (gross domestic product) support" is needed for the developing nations and the world has to "make sure that, when we recover, we recover in a more sustainable and a more inclusive economy," he added..

The most serious conflict in the world using aircraft and sophisticated weapons is at the moment in Syria involving the government of Bashar al-Assad and Russia, which backs it; other rebels and Turkey, which supports them, and the Islamic State.

The UN has failed to stop the fighting there mainly because the Security Council faces vetoes from Russia or even China.

Yemen is yet another long-standing battleground where the Houthis backed by Iran are locked in a conflict with those backed by a Saudi-led coalition that is also backed by the West.

Libya is also facing civil war conditions with several factions confronting each other.

There are scattered hostilities of varying intensities in Africa in places like South Sudan, Cameroun and Central African Republic.

Guterres said that his special envoys were working with parties in the conflicts to "make sure that this global appeal is not only listened to but leads to concrete action, leads to a pause in fighting, creating the conditions for the response to COVID-19 to be much more effective."

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