Excellencies, colleagues, friends,
The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest crisis of our age.
Just seven months since it was declared, over 1 million people have died, and tens of millions have been infected.
Cases are still rising, and new spikes and waves are occurring in places that had suppressed the virus for many months.
The indirect impact of the pandemic is wreaking havoc on societies and economies. Travel restrictions and lockdowns have resulted in the loss of 500 million jobs so far and are costing the global economy some $375 billion every month.