UN / COVID-19 GLOBAL GOVERNANCE

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24-Sep-2020 00:04:29
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the COVID-19 pandemic is a “clear test of international cooperation – a test we have essentially failed” as a result of a “lack of global preparedness, cooperation, unity and solidarity.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / COVID-19 GLOBAL GOVERNANCE
TRT: 4:29
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / RUSSIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 24 SEPTEMBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

RECENT - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

24 SEPTEMBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. Med shot, multiscreen
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The pandemic is a clear test of international cooperation – a test we have essentially failed. It has killed nearly one million people around the world, infected over 30 million, and is out of control. This was the result of a lack of global preparedness, cooperation, unity and solidarity.”
4. Med shot, multiscreen
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“COVID-19 is casting a dark shadow across the world. But it is also a warning that must spur us to action. We have no choice. Either we come together in global institutions that are fit for purpose, or we will be crushed by divisiveness and chaos.”
6. Med shot, multiscreen
7. SOUNDBITE (French) Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson, African Union Commission:
"This Pandemic has made it abundantly and painfully clear that humankind is one indivisible family. It has shown that unilateralism is on a hiding to nothing, but it has also shown into stark relief the roadblocks that stand in the way of fully effective multilateralism; and it has shown into stark relief the artificial borders that have been erected between different members of the human family. Africa calls upon you - upon all of us - to show our determination and to pull together our intelligence and our response to ensure a renaissance of multilateralism which stands on our common values."
8. Med shot, multiscreen
9. SOUNDBITE (French) Mahamadou Issoufou, President, Niger:
“The gap between the rich and the poor is greater today than it was in the antiquity when the economy was based on slavery. All the specialists are saying that in the present context the trend is only going to increase, and this growing inequality is a great threat that the world community has to face."
10. Med shot, multiscreen
11. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Russian Federation:
"In this regard, we think it is absolutely unfair to increasingly attack the UN system as a whole and its specialized agencies in particular. This firm and foremost means the World Health Organization. According to the absolute majority of countries, at all stages of the crisis the World Health Organization acted professionally, in a timely manner, provided effective preventive steps, and did this in close contact with all member states."
12. Med shot, multiscreen
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Kelly Craft, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“You know, shame on each of you. I am astonished and I am disgusted by the content of today’s discussion. I am actually really quite ashamed of this Council – members of the Council who took this opportunity to focus on political grudges rather than the critical issue at hand. My goodness. Moreover, I am disappointed on behalf of the people you are trying to reach, by squandering this opportunity for political purposes. President Trump has made it very clear, we will do whatever is right, even if it’s unpopular, because, let me tell you what, this is not a popularity contest.”
14. Med shot, multiscreen
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations:
"For quite a while, some US politicians have been obsessed with attacking other countries and UN bodies, abusing the platform of the United Nations and its Security Council. The United States has been spreading a political virus and misinformation and creating confrontation and division. Such practice cannot defeat the virus. on the contrary, it has seriously disrupted the joint efforts of the international community to fight the pandemic. I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already."
16. Med shot, multiscreen

STORYLINE:

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the COVID-19 pandemic is a “clear test of international cooperation – a test we have essentially failed” as a result of a “lack of global preparedness, cooperation, unity and solidarity.”

Speaking at a high-level virtual meeting of the Security Council today (24 Sep), Guterres said COVID-19 has killed nearly one million people around the world, infected over 30 million, and is “out of control.” He said the pandemic is a full-blown crisis in itself, unfolding against a backdrop of high geopolitical tensions and other global threats in unpredictable and dangerous ways.

The UN chief noted the urgent need for innovative thinking on global governance and multilateralism, so they are fit for the 21st century. He stressed that sonflicts, human rights abuses, humanitarian crises and development delays are interconnected and compounded by each other, and the global response to them is increasingly fragmented. He added that global governance institutions should work together in a coordinated fashion to contain, mitigate and reduce risks of all kinds.

Guterres said, “COVID-19 is casting a dark shadow across the world. But it is also a warning that must spur us to action. We have no choice. Either we come together in global institutions that are fit for purpose, or we will be crushed by divisiveness and chaos.”

Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat said the world’s experience in responding to COVID-19 called into question the ability of global institutions to response to worldwide threats. He said people's health is a forefront issue of international peace and security and adapting institutions and tools to respond is an urgent and pressing task. He added that the effects of pandemic on diplomacy have stalled some peace processes and entrenched conflicts, adding that armed groups and terrorist organizations have exploited the situation to intensify their criminal activities.

Faki said, "This Pandemic has made it abundantly and painfully clear that humankind is one indivisible family. It has shown that unilateralism is on a hiding to nothing, but it has also shown into stark relief the roadblocks that stand in the way of fully effective multilateralism; and it has shown into stark relief the artificial borders that have been erected between different members of the human family. Africa calls upon you - upon all of us - to show our determination and to pull together our intelligence and our response to ensure a renaissance of multilateralism which stands on our common values."

Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger, said all the regions should be equitably represented in the Security Council. Issoufou, whose country is currently presiding over the Council, called for the number of permanent members of the Security Council to be increased, adding that right of veto should be either removed or extended to new permanent members.

The Nigerien President said the risk of state to state confrontation, particularly among major powers, is not null and called for denuclearizing the planet. He highlighted the rising inequalities among and within countries.

Issoufou said, “The gap between the rich and the poor is greater today than it was in the antiquity when the economy was based on slavery. All the specialists are saying that in the present context the trend is only going to increase, and this growing inequality is a great threat that the world community has to face."

The Nigerien President said COVID-19 is the end of an era which brought into focus the need to rethink the international security system and to work together to draw lessons and the necessary reforms for global governance.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the pandemic showed the interdependence and interconnectedness of all states without exception in all areas of public life and has proven the relevance of Russia's calls for collective responses to global challenges.

He said the world's common misfortune, however, did not iron out inter-state differences but rather deepened them, adding that some countries were using the current situation to advance their narrow interests and settle scores with undesirable governments or geopolitical competitors.

Lavrov said Russia was deeply convinced that international effort to overcome the crisis need to be coordinated and conducted with the central role being played by the UN and the UN system. He added, "In this regard, we think it is absolutely unfair to increasingly attack the UN system as a whole and its specialized agencies in particular. This firm and foremost means the World Health Organization. According to the absolute majority of countries, at all stages of the crisis the World Health Organization acted professionally, in a timely manner, provided effective preventive steps, and did this in close contact with all member states."

The Russian Foreign Minister said the pandemic has presented the world with a choice; countries could either close in on themselves and accuse others of the crisis or come out of the crisis together and pool the efforts of all countries and peoples.

Addressing the Council, United States ambassador Kelly Craft said, “You know, shame on each of you. I am astonished and I am disgusted by the content of today’s discussion. I am actually really quite ashamed of this Council – members of the Council who took this opportunity to focus on political grudges rather than the critical issue at hand. My goodness. Moreover, I am disappointed on behalf of the people you are trying to reach, by squandering this opportunity for political purposes. President Trump has made it very clear, we will do whatever is right, even if it’s unpopular, because, let me tell you what, this is not a popularity contest.”

Craft said the United States has been unrelenting in its efforts to combat COVID-19 and has allocated more than 20 billion USD to benefit the international response, including commitments for vaccine development, therapeutics, and medical infrastructure. She said the Chinese Communist Party’s hid the origins of the virus, minimized its danger, and suppressed scientific cooperation, which transformed a local epidemic into a global pandemic. She also claimed that the World Health Organization (WHO) assisted the Chinese campaign to withhold cooperation and lied to the world.

The US ambassador said the impacts of COVID-19 have been felt by all and must be a source of unity, not division. She said the Trump Administration will continue to lead the way and remains firmly committed to a safer and more secure world.

Chinese ambassador Zhang Jun said the vast majority of Council members called for strengthening multilateralism and international cooperation, reflecting the general consensus of international community, but once again, the US statement was at odds with the meeting. He said China rejects the baseless accusations by the US.

He added, “For quite a while, some US politicians have been obsessed with attacking other countries and UN bodies, abusing the platform of the United Nations and its Security Council. The United States has been spreading a political virus and misinformation and creating confrontation and division. Such practice cannot defeat the virus. on the contrary, it has seriously disrupted the joint efforts of the international community to fight the pandemic. I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already."
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