UNO: Guterres calls for “global war” against pandemic

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At the opening of the World Health Organization’s annual meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on the international community to confront the global corona crisis with the same strategy as in a war. “We are at war with a virus,” Guterres said Monday. He said the world needs “the logic and urgency of a war economy” to ensure that all countries have equal access to the “weapons” to fight the pandemic.

The pandemic has unleashed a “tsunami of suffering,” Guterres lamented. More than 3.4 million people have died since it began in late 2019, he said, and about half a billion people have lost their jobs. “The most vulnerable are suffering the most, and I fear this is far from over,” Guterres said.

He warned of the continuing dangers of a “two-speed global response.” If action is not taken now, he said, the majority of the population in rich countries will soon be vaccinated and economies may recover, while the virus will continue to ravage and mutate in poor nations, “causing deep suffering.” This could lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands more people and slow the global economic recovery, he said.

WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for “massive efforts” by the international community to ensure that “at least 10 percent of the population in every country” will be vaccinated by September.

The fight against the pandemic and measures to prevent similar health crises in the future are the focus of this year’s meeting of WHO members. Until June 1, they also want to discuss a reform of the organization to make it more independent and transparent and to provide it with better financial resources to increase its effectiveness in the event of health crises.

  • hp with materials from dpa and APA/picture: pixabay.com
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