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UN launches COVID-19 plan that could ‘defeat the virus and build a better world’

The UN chief launched on Tuesday a new plan to counter the potentially devastating socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, calling on everyone to “act together to lessen the blow to people”.

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“The new coronavirus disease is attacking societies at their core, claiming lives and people’s livelihoods”, said Secretary-General António Guterres, pointing out that the potential longer-term effects on the global economy and individual countries are “dire”.

The new report, "Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19",  describes the speed and scale of the outbreak, the severity of cases, and the societal and economic disruption of the coronavirus.

“COVID-19 is the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations,” underscored the UN chief.

 “This human crisis demands coordinated, decisive, inclusive and innovative policy action from the world’s leading economies – and maximum financial and technical support for the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries.”

As strong as weakest health system

Mr. Guterres called for “an immediate coordinated health response to suppress transmission and end the pandemic” that “scales up health capacity for testing, tracing, quarantine and treatment, while keeping first responders safe, combined with measures to restrict movement and contact.” 

He underscored that developed countries must assist those less developed, or potentially “face the nightmare of the disease spreading like wildfire in the global South with millions of deaths and the prospect of the disease re-emerging where it was previously suppressed”.

“Let us remember that we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world”, he stressed. 

Focus on most vulnerable

In tackling the devastating social and economic dimensions of the crisis, the UN chief pushed for a focus on the most vulnerable by designing policies that, among other things, support providing health and unemployment insurance and social protections while also bolstering businesses to prevent bankruptcies and job losses. 

Debt alleviation must also be a priority he said, noting that the UN is “fully mobilized” and is establishing a new multi-partner Trust Fund for COVID19 Response and Recovery to respond to the emergency and recover from the socio-economic shock. 

“When we get past this crisis, which we will, we will face a choice”, said the UN chief, “we can go back to the world as it was before or deal decisively with those issues that make us all unnecessarily vulnerable to crises”. 

Referencing the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he maintained that in recover from the COVID-19 crisis must lead to an economy focused on building inclusive and sustainable economies that are more resilient in facing pandemics, climate change, and the many other global challenges. 

“What the world needs now is solidarity,” stressed the Secretary-General. “With solidarity we can defeat the virus and build a better world”.

Grim 2020 socio-economic estimates 

The report includes estimates from a host of UN agencies.

According to the UN International Labour Organization (ILO), five to 25 million jobs will be eradicated, and the world will lose $860 billion to $3.4 trillion in labor income.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projected a 30 to 40 per cent downward pressure on global foreign direct investment flows while the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) saw a 20–30 per cent decline in international arrivals. 

Meanwhile, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) anticipated that 3.6 billion people will be offline and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) forecast that 1.5 billion students out of school.

The report calls for a large-scale, coordinated, comprehensive multilateral response that amounts to at least 10 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and warns that there is no time to lose in mounting the most robust, cooperative health response the world has ever seen.

In closing, Mr. Guterres called the pandemic “a defining moment for modern society”, saying the “history will judge the efficacy of the response not by the actions of any single set of government actors taken in isolation, but by the degree to which the response is coordinated globally across all sectors for the benefit of our human family”.

“With the right actions, the COVID-19 pandemic can mark the beginning of a new type of global and societal cooperation”, concluded the Secretary-General.

Letter for UN Secretary-General: support for the March 23 appeal

Rome, March 25, 2020

Your Excellency,
Dear Secretary-General Guterres,
We are writing to you to express our strongest support and commitment to the goals that were expressed
in the Appeal you launched on Monday March 23, 2020, reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic,
for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.
Your Appeal resonated greatly in our hearts. Like yours, our hearts are heavy to see the many ongoing
military conflicts in the world. Like you, we strongly believe that the nations of the world
cannot waste time fighting each other, instead of looking for solutions to our challenges and working
for our common good together. Like you, we believe that only through unity can we stand a
chance for the 21st century. Like you, we have realized and made it our guiding principle that
beyond all differences, Humanity, in reality, is one.
This is why we felt it so important to react immediately to your Appeal. The global spread of
COVID-19 has to remind all of us that, as you said, the gravest of threats truly unite us. As you so
rightly noted, major threats such as viruses do not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or face,
they make the inevitable truth obvious: that Humanity in one. We belong together and have to start
thinking together.
Through this pandemic, the World has gotten in a grave situation in which there is no time or energy
for spending on conflict and hatred. Yet there are still so many wars ravaging so many countries,
destroying entire national systems, depleting resources and leaving only suffering behind.
We find your Appeal truly inspiring: there has to be an immediate cease fire in all corners of the
world, to put armed conflict in a lock down, the warrying parties to put aside their animosity and
focus together on the true fight of our lives, to make this world a better one. Your reaction to the
pandemic showed that your leadership is taking the United Nations exactly to what its highest mission
is: to focus the attention and energies of all Nations to the interests and values of all of Humanity.
We are reaching out to you now to respond to your message: Mr. Secretary-General, the Appeal you
have just launched is most timely and is of the greatest importance for Humanity. We want to take
the momentum and to ensure you of our support to the goals expressed in it: to develop
corridors for life saving aid and to launch global cooperation to respond best to the pandemic.
Mr. Secretary-General, we want to ensure you of our support and partnership with you in order
to create the global dynamics of coalition building and genuine dialogue that is so fundamental to
respond to these most compelling challenges ahead of Humanity. Fighting COVID-19 cannot be
possible without the international community's cooperation and support, both for providing the necessary
humanitarian support as well as for developing novel solutions for the global economy.
It is our firm belief that decision-makers with global impact both in politics as well as in economics
have a special responsibility today: in this unprecedented situation, they have to develop new answers
and new tools that, starting with the protection of the most vulnerable, will lead the World
into new, more equitable and fundamentally sustainable structures of cooperation.
Our organization, New Humanity, together with its Movement Politics and Policy for Unity, MPPU,
was founded on the belief and conviction that Humanity is indeed one, and that no real challenges
ahead of Humankind can be solved without understanding this most profound belonging together
and without establishing sympathy and cooperation. The many concrete examples from all corners
of the world that we have gained in working for these goals over the decades of experience have
proven to us that this belief is capable of moving people's and peoples' minds and hearts, thereby
transforming communities, small and large.
Your Appeal opens the way for responding to the greatest challenges for Humanity: to find common
solutions to the current challenges and beyond. So that when the World recovers from the pandemic,
we recover into a more cooperative and inclusive international system, with a clear and strong
focus to reach out to all and to create a more equitable global structure and a more sustainable, more
inclusive economy in all our countries.
Supporting your Appeal,

Dr. Réka Szemerkényi - Co-President - Mppu International Center

Dr. Marco Desalvo - President - New Humanity NGO


with the Presidents of the Mppu Centers of the following countries:

 

Guillermo Gustavo Castillo - Mppu Argentine;

Javier Baquero - Maldonado Mppu Colombia

Silvio Minnetti - Mppu Italy

Ursula Dörpinghaus - Mppu Germany

Labib Akiki - Mppu Lebanon

Melchior Nsavyimana - Mppu Kenya-Burundi

Michal Siewniak - Mppu U. K.

Dieudonné Upira -Mppu Democratic Republic of Congo

Flavio Dal Pozzo - Mppu Brazil

Nieves Cruz Barrientos - Mppu Spain

Mihály Berndt - Mppu Hungary

Michel Batt ; Marie-Odile Batt - Mppu France

Sergio Cleffi - Mppu Uruguay

Christopher Jiménez Estrada - Mppu Mexico

Rosella Cho - Mppu Korea

Michelle Grandjean - Mppu Switzerland

Enrique Duarte - Mppu Paraguay

 

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COVID-19: UN chief calls for global ceasefire to focus on ‘the true fight of our lives’

In an appeal issued on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged warring parties across the world to lay down their weapons in support of the bigger battle against  COVID-19: the common enemy that is now threatening all of humankind. 

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“The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war”, he said.  “That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.  It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.” 

The ceasefire would allow humanitarians to reach populations that are most vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19, which first emerged in Wuhan, China, last December, and has now been reported in more than 180 countries. 

So far, there are nearly 300,000 cases worldwide, and more than 12,700 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

As the UN chief pointed out, COVID-19 does not care about nationality or ethnicity, or other differences between people, and “attacks all, relentlessly”, including during wartime. 

It is the most vulnerable - women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized, displaced and refugees - who pay the highest price during conflict and who are most at risk of suffering “devastating losses” from the disease. 

Furthermore, health systems in war-ravaged countries have often reached the point of total collapse, while the few health workers who remain are also seen as targets.  

The UN chief called on warring parties to pull back from hostilities, put aside mistrust and animosity, and “silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes”.  

This is crucial, he said, “to help create corridors for life-saving aid. To open precious windows for diplomacy.  To bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.”   

While inspired by new rapprochement and dialogue between combatants to enable joint approaches to push back the disease, the Secretary-General said more still needs to be done. 

“End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world”, he appealed.  “It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.” 

The Secretary-General’s appeal was broadcast live over the Internet from a virtual press conference held at UN Headquarters in New York, where most staff are now working from home to help curb further spread of COVID-19.

He answered questions from reporters which were read by Melissa Fleming, head of the UN Department of Global Communications, the parent office of UN News.

The UN chief said his Special Envoys will work with warring parties to make sure the cease-fire appeal leads to action.

Asked how he was feeling, Mr. Guterres responded that he is “strongly determined”, underlining that the UN must be active at this moment.

“The UN must fully assume its responsibilities first doing what we have to do    our peacekeeping operations, our humanitarian agencies, our support to the different bodies of the international community, the Security Council, the General Assembly but, at the same time, it’s a moment in which the UN must be able to address the peoples of the world and appeal for a massive mobilisation and for a massive pressure on governments to make sure that we are able to respond to this crisis, not to mitigate it but to suppress it, to suppress the disease and to address the dramatic economic and social impacts of the disease”, he said.

“And we can only do it if we do it together, if we do in a coordinated way, if we do it with intense solidarity and cooperation, and that is the raison d’etre of the United Nations itself”.

REFUGEE CRISIS IN GREECE: RESTORE THE RIGHT TO ASYLUM FOR REFUGEES

NEW HUMANITY AND MPPU APPEAL FOR WORTHY AND COURAGEOUS CHOICES so that, while
combating the coronavirus emergency, we do not forget a tragic situation that deserves to be
addressed and resolved through better and higher quality international relations, and policies
that look to the common good and reconciliation among peoples.


What is happening now at the gates of Europe, on the border between Greece and Turkey, must
awaken the collective civil conscience and require institutions to act with greater attention
and respect for the dignity and value of each human person, as declared by the Charter of
Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which focuses on human rights, the universal
and inalienable values ​​of humankind, freedom, equality and solidarity.
The European Co-ordination office of the Movement for Politics and Policies for Unity, on the
basis of the Charter of its values ​​of universal fraternity, defence of the least and search for
the common good, stands alongside Institutions that wish to promote these universal
values, through a heartfelt culture of fraternal action, so that urgent, worthy and
courageous political solutions can be found that offer immediate concrete answers.
The management of migratory flows, however complex, can be addressed and resolved
courageously, with lawful and clear agreements, seeking peace. Human dignity can never be
traded.
We all know that it is unacceptable and inhuman for migrants to be "offloaded” into the sea,
where they may be abandoned and die, or violently rejected along a border. Hence we
strongly appeal for the right to asylum for refugees to be restored, a right protected by
international law which does not, in any way, contemplate its suspension. Europe's political
response needs complete and permanent structural reform of the agreed policies on asylum
and immigration, and a new foreign policy. In this regard, we are willing to make our
contribution, in dialogue, to rediscover the meaning of being together.
We know that the "migrants’ issue" has obvious causes in wars, poverty and serious inequalities
between the North and South of the globe. The answers are complex and to be agreed in the
medium to long term through a peace treaty in Syria, control of flows, investments in the
countries of origin, reception and inclusion, adequate distribution in all European countries,
and with humane living conditions in temporary places of refuge, in Turkey as well as in
Libya.
We believe an immediate response to guarantee protection and assistance for the 5,500
unaccompanied migrant children cannot be delayed. A demonstration of European
solidarity should take the form of a voluntary relocation pact, through which unaccompanied

minors currently in Greece are transferred to other European countries.
Similarly, the immediate opening of humanitarian corridors for children, women, the elderly and
families cannot be delayed, thus implementing an extraordinary and immediate relocation
plan for asylum seekers.
Now is the time to courageously take the path of negotiation and agreements, to insist that the
ceasefire in Syria be respected and to activate all international humanitarian agencies to
bring aid to this fleeing population. Now is the time to stop arms trafficking and increase
resources to promote development.
Hence our appeal that, while combating the coronavirus emergency, no one should forget a
tragedy that deserves to be addressed and resolved through better and higher quality of
international relations and through policies that look to the common good and reconciliation
among peoples.

 

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Pubblicazioni

Disarmo

 co governance

17-20 GENNAIO 2019

Castel Gandolfo

Roma - Italia

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