World lacks coordinated action of all countries to suppress COVID-19: UN chief
UNITED NATIONS, March 31 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday that the world lacks a coordinated action of all countries to suppress COVID-19, while noting that it does not have a global package to help the developing world.
"We still do not have a coordinated action of all countries to suppress the virus under the guidance of the World Health Organization," the UN chief said at the virtual press launch of the report "Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19," while answering questions regarding international cooperation in both suppressing the virus and boosting the global economy.
Commenting on the G20 Extraordinary Leaders' Summit, which was also held virtually on Thursday, the secretary-general said that "the G20 was a step in the right direction, but I think we are still very far from where we need to be to effectively fight COVID-19 worldwide and to be able to tackle the negative impacts on the global economy and the global societies."
"Guidelines from the World Health Organization were not respected in many countries of the world, and there was a tendency for each one to go its own way. We absolutely need an articulated action in which all countries join the same efforts in order to commonly suppress the transmission following the guidance of the World Health Organization," the UN chief noted.
Speaking about the mobilization of over 5 trillion U.S. dollars to boost the global economy that the G20 major economies on Thursday pledged to present a "united front" against the common threat posed by COVID-19, Guterres said that "if it is true that we have already witnessed the mobilization of 5 trillion U.S. dollars, we are still far from what is needed and especially because most of what was mobilized was by the developed world to support their own economies."
"We are far from having a global package to help the developing world to create the conditions both to suppress the disease and to address the dramatic consequences in their populations, in the people that lost their jobs, the small companies that are operating and risk to disappear, those that live with the informal economy that now have no chance to survive," he said.
"There is a lot that needs to be done, and massive support to the developing world is still required. We are not yet there, but I hope we will be moving in that direction," the secretary-general noted.
When asked how the United Nations can deal with both a response to the pandemic and an economic downturn at the same time, Guterres said that "we need to mobilize new resources."
"We need to have innovative financial instruments," he said. "We need to look into all the possibilities of innovative actions in the financial systems in order to create the mechanisms that will allow the developing world also to be able to respond to the crisis."
"If the developing world has not resources both to suppress the transmission and to address the socioeconomic consequences of the virus, then we have the risk of ... the virus spreading like wildfire in the Global South, with consequences that inevitably are tragic for the Global South itself," the secretary-general added.
"This is the moment of solidarity, not only because of generosity but because of the enlightened self-interest of everybody," he said.