A divided world has failed to meet the challenge of fighting the covid-19 pandemic, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said today (17), warning that joint action is necessary to prevent millions of people from being pushed into poverty and hunger.
The former Portuguese Prime Minister said that much more could have been done if the countries had worked together to fight the disease, which has already killed more than a million people.
“The covid-19 pandemic is a major global challenge for the entire international community, for multilateralism and for me, as secretary-general of the United Nations,” Guterres told Portuguese news agency Lusa.
“Unfortunately it is a test that, so far, the international community is failing.”
According to him, if coordinated measures are not taken, “a microscopic virus could lead millions of people to poverty and hunger, with devastating economic effects in the coming years”.
Guterres also criticized countries for their lack of unity in trying to solve other global challenges, including conflicts in Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria. “It is a source of enormous frustration,” he declared.
More than 39 million people have been infected with covid-19 worldwide, according to official reports.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.