UN Secretary General António Guterres stated that the COVID-19 pandemic was a turning point for humanity comparable to the end of World War II and the creation of the United Nations. He made this statement on Tuesday, September 22, at the general political debate of the 75th session of the General Assembly.
At the same time, he added that the Coronavirus pandemic had led to a crisis that mankind had previously faced.
“We are at a crucial moment,” said Guterres, “The challenges we face today are as daunting as those of 1945.
The founders of the United Nations have suffered the hardships of world war, pandemics and global depression and knew the price of discord, realizing the importance of unity, Guterres added.
“And they have developed a visionary response that is embodied in our founding Charter (the UN Charter – Ed.),” said the UN Secretary General.
Guterres warned that the coronavirus is a “dress rehearsal” for the upcoming world challenges. He called for recognition that “the microscopic virus has brought the whole world to its knees”.
At the same time, he called on the international community to achieve a ceasefire in all armed conflicts in 100 days. Guterres reminded that at the very beginning of the pandemic he had already called for stopping armed conflicts for the time of virus spreading. His appeal was then supported by 180 member states, along with religious leaders, regional partners and civil society representatives.
“During a pandemic, there is only one winner in a conflict: the virus itself,” he added.
An outbreak of COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus occurred in Wuhan, China at the end of December, before the virus spread to other countries. On 11 March, the World Health Organization (WHO) described the spread of coronavirus worldwide as a pandemic.