As highlighted in the Secretary-General’s Policy Brief: Education during COVID-19 and beyond, there is an urgent need for action by all to ensure that the immediate disruption to education does not turn into a generational catastrophe.
This year’s International Day of Peace, observed on 21 September, should start by honouring all the lives that have been lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Peace is not only the synonym of harmony, security and well-being, but also a product of equality and non-discrimination. Peace, as we understand it, simply cannot exist if we exclude the welfare of women and girls, who comprise half of the world’s population.
Protecting the existence of all species, sustaining life on Earth, exploring outer space, tackling disease and mortality, solving the pollution problem, coexisting with the environment, electing more women to leadership positions and creating real freedom that includes true private property: world peace is a prerequisite for all of these objectives.
The economic cost of inaction is huge: countless millions more people being pushed into extreme poverty, decades of development progress lost, and the shadow of a generation’s worth of tragic and exportable problems looming.
Viet Nam’s successful management of the COVID-19 outbreak so far can be at least partly attributed to the country’s investment during “peacetime”—the period prior to the pandemic. The country has now demonstrated that preparedness to deal with infectious disease is a key ingredient for protecting people and securing public health in times of pandemics such as COVID-19.
Despite the good progress we have made in recent years in advocating for victims of terrorism, much work remains to be done by Member States to ensure victims’ needs and rights are adequately prioritized.
As is often the case, dedicated humanitarians, their legacies, intentions and influences are destined to converge at some point.
Diversification and globalization are excellent engines for realizing the sustainable development of our global society; for colleges and universities, they must function as an excellent strategy to develop human resources that will open up the future of the uncertain world.
The fact that the Black Lives Matter movement has found powerful resonances in many parts of the world in the wake of George Floyd’s killing indicates that we are not alone.