From the UN Secretary-General
Communications to Member States
- 23 MARCH 2020 -
Communications to Staff
Secretary-General’s video message to United Nations personnel on COVID-19 (17 March 2020)
Only by coming together will the world be able to face down the COVID-19 pandemic and its shattering consequences. At an emergency virtual meeting last Thursday, G20 leaders took steps in the right direction. But we are still far away from having a coordinated, articulated global response that meets the unprecedented magnitude of what we are facing. We must prepare for the worst and do everything to avoid it. Here is a three-point call to action -- based on science, solidarity and smart policies -- for doing just that.
The new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is attacking societies at their core, claiming lives and people’s livelihoods. The potential longer-term effects on the global economy and those of individual countries are dire. In a new report, Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, the United Nations Secretary-General calls on everyone to act together to address this impact and lessen the blow to people.
We are at war with a virus – and not winning it. It took the world three months to reach 100,000 confirmed cases of infection. The next 100,000 happened in just 12 days. The third took four days. The fourth, just one and a half. This is exponential growth and only the tip of the iceberg.
COVID-19 is menacing the whole of humanity – and so the whole of humanity must fight back. Individual country responses are not going to be enough.
Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19. The virus does not care about race or nationality, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly. Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world.
We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations — one that is spreading human suffering, infecting the global economy and upending people’s lives.
The upheaval caused by the coronavirus – COVID-19 -- is all around us. And I know many are anxious, worried and confused. That’s absolutely natural. We are facing a health threat unlike any other in our lifetimes.