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UN wants global solidarity to fight future challenges from Covid

<p style="font-weight: 400;">Addressing the UN General Assembly, Secretary General Antonio Guterres called the coronavirus pandemic “not only a wake-up call” but “a dress rehearsal” for challenges to come.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">Delivering the UN annual report, he said: “In an interconnected world, it is high time to recognize a simple truth: solidarity is self-interest.  If we fail to grasp that fact, everyone loses”.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">Guterres underscored the need for solidarity at this moment, particularly as countries least capable to address Covid-19 have received little assistance. He urged the UN’s 193 member states to move forward in humility and unity in the face of challenges from the disease.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">Due to Covid-19, most world leaders will not be able to attend the annual gathering, called the General Debate, at the UN headquarters.  They have the right to deliver their speech in person from their seats in the hall, not from the podium. However, many leaders have pre-recorded their speeches on video.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">“In a world turned upside down, this General Assembly Hall is among the strangest sights of all”, Guterres remarked at the outset. “The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our annual meeting beyond recognition. But it has made it more important than ever.”</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">He said the pandemic has exposed fragilities and inequalities across the globe. It has generated “an epochal health crisis”, the biggest economic meltdown and job losses since the Great Depression, and dangerous new threats to human rights, among other challenges.   As of Tuesday, there were more than 31 million cases of the corona disease worldwide, with over 962,000 deaths.</p>
“A technological and economic divide risks inevitably turning into a geo-strategic and military divide. We must avoid this at all costs.”
<p style="font-weight: 400;">However, Guterres warned against what he called “vaccinationalism”, as countries are reportedly making “side deals” for their own populations.  He underlined that “None of us is safe, until all of us are safe.”</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">The UN has also pushed for a “massive” rescue package, equivalent to roughly 10 per cent of the global economic output, to get economies back up and running. Developed countries can afford it, he said.</p>.