World solidarity essential to defeat virus - GulfToday

World solidarity essential to defeat virus


Antonio Guterres.

The coronavirus pandemic is the worst global crisis since World War II, as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres points out.

What is essential now for the world community is to stand more united and emerge stronger. Everyone needs to act together to lessen the blow to people caused by the deadly pandemic.

The human crisis demands coordinated, decisive, inclusive and innovative policy action from the world’s leading economies — and maximum financial and technical support for the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries.

Guterres has rightly called for an immediate coordinated health response to suppress transmission and end the pandemic that scales up health capacity for testing, tracing, quarantine and treatment, while keeping first responders safe, combined with measures to restrict movement and contact.

UN officials have proposed drastic measures which deserve serious attention.

Global actions must include a stimulus package reaching double-digit percentage points of the world’s GDP, with explicit actions to boost the economies of developing countries.

Regional mobilisation must examine impacts, monetary coordination, fiscal and social measures, while engaging with private financial sector to support businesses and addressing structural challenges.

According to the UN International Labour Organization (ILO), five to 25 million jobs will be eradicated, and the world will lose $860 billion to $3.4 trillion in labor income.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has projected a 30 to 40 per cent downward pressure on global foreign direct investment flows while the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) saw a 20–30 per cent decline in international arrivals.

As per UN report “Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19”, what is needed is such a situation is a large-scale, coordinated, comprehensive multilateral response that amounts to at least 10 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP). There is absolutely no time to lose in mounting the most robust, cooperative health response the world has ever seen. In times of adversity, positive and encouraging words help instill confidence.

UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s assurance to citizens and residents that the community will emerge stronger after the coronavirus pandemic comes as a huge encouragement to the society.

Members of the general public have a definite role to play and should adhere to preventative health and personal hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the epidemic.

As suggested by officials, basic protective measures should be followed such as the frequent washing of hands; when coughing and sneezing to cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue and discarding of the tissue immediately; and seeking early medical care if symptoms of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing arise.

The UAE has been wholeheartedly supporting global efforts to alleviate the pandemic’s health and economic impact on humanity.

What increases the importance of international cooperation in confronting this virus is that its negative effects do not stop at only the health aspect, although it is the most dangerous and most painful, but extends to many other aspects as well, the most important of which is the economic aspect.

In Sheikh Mohammed’s words: “Our message to the international community: We are now stronger as a community, unified & cooperative. After this pandemic, the world needs new health, economic & political cooperation systems. We must keep pace with events that can paralyze the world in weeks.”

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