UN chief calls for solidarity to confront Covid-19

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for global solidarity and a sense of urgency to confront Covid-19.

“As this difficult year draws to a close, let’s resolve to take the tough, ambitious decisions and actions that will lead to better days ahead. In a global crisis, we must meet the expectations of those we serve with unity, solidarity and coordinated global action,” he told a General Assembly special session in response to the Covid-19 pandemic on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I call on you to take the opportunity of this special session of the General Assembly to confront the Covid-19 pandemic with the urgency it demands; to save lives; and to build a better future together.”

Looking ahead, the recovery from Covid-19 must address the pre-existing conditions it has exposed and exploited, from gaps in basic services to an overheated planet, he said.

Stronger health systems, universal health coverage must be a priority. Social safety nets must work for everyone. A new social contract between people, governments, the private sector, civil society and more can tackle the roots of inequality with fair taxation on income and wealth, universal benefits, and opportunities for all, he said.

New investments must lay the groundwork for sustainable development and carbon neutrality, in line with the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, he said.

At the General Assembly special session, world leaders are delivering statements in the form of pre-recorded messages as Covid-19 has made international travel a high-risk activity.