Mr. Liu Zhenmin Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Message on COVID-19 from USG

With the increase of confirmed cases to over 200,000 today across 161 countries, states and territories, the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to carve its dark entry into the history of humankind, confining millions in their homes, causing serious illness and death and upending daily life as we know it.

This global pandemic is not only challenging national health systems, but it is also affecting economies, from the smallest to the largest, on an unprecedented scale. In doing so, it has left society’s most vulnerable groups exposed to the fury of its destructive path through our health, economic, financial and social systems. As we face these grave challenges, we must remember that we are all in this together.

Many of our own staff call New York home. As the city faces growing disruptions caused by COVID-19 , I have convened an internal task team to monitor UN DESA’s operations in key areas of the Department’s work and staff welfare. We have put support systems in place to help our staff weather these trying times, while continuing to provide you, the people that we serve, with the support that you need.

Our experts continue to closely monitor the economic, financial and social impacts of the crisis and we stand ready to advise the Secretary-General and help Member States navigate the policy choices ahead. 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. We are looking at how our capacity development activities could adjust quickly to the demanding and fast-evolving challenge.

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.

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.

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