UN General Assembly calls for global cooperation on COVID-19
The United Nations General Assembly yesterday approved a comprehensive resolution to stimulate global cooperation in response to COVID-19 pandemic.
The resolution, which was adopted 169-2 with two abstentions, identifies international cooperation, multilateralism and solidarity as the only way for the world to effectively respond to global crises such as COVID-19.
It acknowledges the key leadership role of the World Health Organization and the fundamental role of the UN system in catalyzing and coordinating the comprehensive global response to COVID-19 and the central efforts of member states.
It supports the UN secretary-general’s appeal for an immediate global cease-fire, notes with concern the impact of the pandemic on conflict-affected states and those at risk of conflict, and supports the continued work of UN peacekeeping operations.
It calls on member states and all relevant actors to promote inclusion and unity in response to COVID-19 and to prevent, speak out and take strong action against racism, xenophobia, hate speech, violence and discrimination.
It calls on states to ensure that all human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled while combating the pandemic and that their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are in full compliance with their human rights obligations and commitments.
The resolution calls on member states to put in place a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response with a view to strengthening their health system and social care and support systems, and preparedness and response capacities.
It calls on states to ensure the right of women and girls to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, including sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights.
It urges member states to enable all countries to have unhindered, timely access to quality, safe, efficacious and affordable diagnosis, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines, and essential health technologies and their components, as well as equipment, for the COVID-19 response.
It recognizes the role of extensive immunization against COVID-19 as a global public good once safe, effective, accessible and affordable vaccines are available.
It encourages member states to work in partnership with all relevant stakeholders to increase research and development funding for vaccines and medicines, leverage digital technologies, and strengthen scientific international cooperation necessary to combat COVID-19 and to bolster coordination toward rapid development, manufacturing and distribution of diagnostics, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines.
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It reaffirms the need to ensure the safe, timely and unhindered access of humanitarian and medical personnel responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It strongly urges states to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the UN Charter that impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries.
It calls on member states to ensure protection for those most affected, women, children, youth, persons with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, older persons, indigenous peoples, refugees and internally displaced persons and migrants, and the poor, vulnerable and marginalized segments of the population, and prevent all forms of discrimination.
It calls on member states to counter the increase of sexual and gender-based violence, and harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage.
The resolution calls on member states and other relevant stakeholders to advance bold and concerted actions to address the immediate social and economic impacts of COVID-19, while striving to get back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
It welcomes the steps taken by the Group of 20 and the Paris Club to provide a time-bound suspension of debt service payments for the poorest countries and by international financial institutions to provide liquidity and other support measures to ease the debt burden of developing countries, and encourages all relevant actors to address risks of debt vulnerabilities.
It emphasizes that COVID-19 has disrupted the normal functioning of open markets, global supply chain connectivity and the flow of essential goods, and reaffirms that emergency measures must be targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary, that they must not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains.
It asks member states to prevent and combat illicit financial flows and strengthen international cooperation and good practices on assets return and recovery, and to implement effective measures to prevent and combat corruption.
It calls on member states and international financial institutions to provide more liquidity in the financial system, especially in all developing countries, and supports the continued examination of the broader use of special drawing rights to enhance the resilience of the international monetary system.
The resolution reaffirms its full commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as the blueprint for building back better after the pandemic.
It urges member states to adopt a climate- and environment-sensitive approach to COVID-19 recovery efforts, and emphasizes that mitigation of and adaptation to climate change represent an immediate and urgent global priority.