Editorial: Cooperation needed

At a time when the whole world is fighting with the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems there is no cooperation between countries.

This has come to light with the claim of the United Nations chief, who has criticised the total lack of international coordination in tackling the coronavirus and warned that the go-it-alone policy of many countries will not defeat it.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an interview with The Associated Press that what needs to be done is to make countries understand that by acting in isolation they are creating the situation that is getting out of control and that global coordination is key. Covid-19 started in China, moved to Europe, then to North America and now to South America, Africa and India, he said, and some people are now talking about second waves coming at any moment.

Yet, he said, there is total lack of coordination among countries in the response to the Covid. Guterres said it’s important to use that fact to make countries understand that bringing them together, putting together their capacities, not only in fighting the pandemic in a coordinated way but in working together to have the treatments, testing mechanisms, the vaccines accessible to everybody, that this is the way we defeat the pandemic.

The Secretary-General said coordinating political, economic and social responses to the fallout from Covid-19 including job losses, increasing violence and human rights being violated will also help mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

From the start of the pandemic, Guterres has been trying to mobilise international action to address what he says is the biggest international challenge since World War II. He called for a global cease-fire to all conflicts on March 23 to tackle Covid-19 but the response has been very limited.

And his calls, and repeated calls by the World Health Organisation chief, for international solidarity to fight against Covid-19 have not led to significant changes in nationalist approaches to dealing with the virus. I am frustrated, of course, with the lack of international cooperation at the present moment, Guterres said, but I hope that the new generations will be able to make things change in the future, he said. This is not time for differences but to wage a war with complete unity to get rid of the pandemic.


NT Bureau