As the COVID-19 pandemic carves its dark entry into the history of humankind, causing serious illness and death, and upending daily life as we know it, UN DESA is supporting the world to contain the calamity and emerge from it more resilient and united.“UN DESA stands in solidarity with the World Health Organization and other global, national and regional bodies to stop the spread of this virus and usher in a rapid and sustainable recovery,” said UN DESA Head, Liu Zhenmin in a statement. “Together, we will help the people and nations of the world rise, stronger, from the scourge of disease, just as our predecessors did 75 years ago, from the ravages of war.” As the pandemic challenges national health systems, shutters businesses large and small, and confines millions to their homes, it leaves the society’s most vulnerable groups exposed to its most destructive effects. “As we face these grave challenges, we must remember that we are all in this together,” urged Liu Zhenmin.
“When a contagious disease strikes, even a society’s most protected elites must worry about the health of neglected populations,” said Professor Jayati Ghosh, member of the UN High-Level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs. “Those who have advocated privatization and cost-cutting measures that deny health care to the most vulnerable now know that they did so at their own peril. A society’s overall health depends on the health of its poorest people.” UN DESA experts continue to closely monitor the economic, financial and social impacts of the crisis and is prepared to advise the UN Secretary-General and help Member States navigate the policy choices ahead in a way that leaves no one behind. “These problems cannot be contained by policies adopted in any one country. More than ever, the global community needs leadership to address the immediate effects of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout,” added Professor Ghosh. Answering to the unprecedented disruptions to its work, the Department has assembled a special task team that monitors the delivery of UN DESA’s critical operations while ensuring staff welfare and safety. “We are working closely with the ECOSOC bureau and the President of the General Assembly to assure our continued strong support to the intergovernmental processes,” said Liu Zhenmin. “We are looking at how our capacity development activities could adjust quickly to the demanding and fast-evolving challenge.”
Read the full statement here.