The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated inequalities within and between countries. After its end, the world can only go two ways, writes UN Secretary General António Guterres in an article for Aftonbladet.
In an article published on July 6, the Secretary General notes that even if one cannot predict the future, he sees only two possible scenarios for the world after the pandemic: optimistic and pessimistic.
The first will be possible if countries can cope with the current situation, develop a successful recovery plan and provide enough assistance to developing States.
The first plan would also be helped by an effective and affordable coronavirus vaccine within the next nine months.
“If this happens and the economy recovers gradually, we will start to move in the right direction so that in two or three years we can return to some degree normal,” Guterres notes.
However, there is also a worst-case scenario for further developments.
He suggests that countries will not unite in the face of the epidemic, new outbreaks of the virus will begin to emerge, work on the vaccine will be delayed, or only “rich” countries will be able to get it.
“If this scenario comes to fruition, we will see growing segregation, populism and xenophobia. Each country will act independently – or in so-called coalitions that want to cooperate only on certain specific tasks,” says the Secretary General.
As a result of the pessimistic forecast, he sees the onset of global depression of five to seven years.
According to Guterres, it is still difficult to understand the direction the world is going, but it is necessary to do everything for the first scenario, as well as to prepare for the second.