General Assembly looks to find unified COVID response

The UN General Assembly will open a two-day special session on the COVID pandemic describing it as “one of the largest social and economic crises in living memory”.

President of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, will today tell delegates controlling and recovering from COVID-19 is the international community’s top priority. It comes as the global death toll exceeds 1.5 million with more than 62 million cases worldwide.

“COVID-19 is a global health crisis. It is also an economic crisis, a development crisis, a humanitarian crisis and a human rights crisis. It revealed the structural inequalities and disproportionately affected the most vulnerable members of our societies,” President Bozkir said. “The special session provides a historic moment for us to come together to beat COVID-19.

“With news of multiple vaccines on the cusp of approval, and with trillions of dollars flowing into global recovery efforts, the international community has a unique opportunity to do this right. The world is looking to the UN for leadership; this is a test for multilateralism. I believe the General Assembly will be able to forge a path forward and to end the suffering of the people we serve.”

The two-day special session will primarily consist of a general debate today and interactive dialogues with experts, UN agencies and leading scientists, on Friday.

World leaders will address the assembly on their experiences in fighting the pandemic and the needs in addressing COVID-19 moving forward.

The Director-General of the World Health Organization will address the assembly tomorrow and the hope is that countries around the world will look at unified ways to combat the disease and its continued spread.