Trudeau calls for global unity at UN summit on pandemic recovery

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hosted a call conference in hopes of establishing global cooperation at the United Nations meeting being held to alleviate the social and economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada is currently competing with Norway and Ireland for one of the two-seat openings for the UN Security Council next month. The seats are not permanent, and Canada’s platform is one that’s goal is to help rebuild the world after the pandemic.

Trudeau hosted the meeting alongside UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

The video conference began with Canada’s affirmation of support for international institutions that Trudeau says should be the ones leading the worldwide recovery.

Trudeau says that for the global economy to recover from this pandemic, a “global, coordinated plan” will be needed for the best results.

“Our citizens need to have confidence in international institutions that leave no one behind and are capable of overcoming global challenges”.

The online meeting had more than 50 heads of state and government participants, which included prominent political figures like U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel, and France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

U.S. President Donald Trump did not participate in the meeting, stating that leaders should put their country’s interests first before anything.

Leaders participating in the meeting were against the recent moves made by Trump during his presidency but did so without saying his name. They defended the WHO and the Paris climate change agreement, two things that Trump has backed out of.

When addressing this behaviour, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that this precedent for only focusing on your own country’s needs is wrong.

“We have to work together, and for each other”.

Areas of action

In this conference, there are “six urgent areas of action” being addressed that need to be done to begin the global recovery.

The six being addressed are as followed.

  • Expanding liquidity in the global economy to sustain financial stability
  • Addressing the debt vulnerability for developing countries
  • Recovery plans involving private-sector creditors
  • Growth and job creation as a result of finance enhancement
  • Preventing money laundering
  • Making sure recovery policies align with sustainable development goals

The conference hopes that concrete proposals based on the discussions made around these six areas will be made by July.

Early estimations from the United Nations says that the pandemic may potentially cut $8.5 trillion USD from the global economy within the next two years. This may ultimately force upwards of 34.3 million people into extreme poverty in this year alone, with further estimates of 130 million people in poverty in the coming decade due to the pandemic.  

As a result of these estimations, the United Nation’s Secretary General Antonio Guterres emphasized the dire situation caused by the pandemic and the need for a global coordinated effort to overcome these challenges. 

“Despite all the technological and scientific advances of recent decades, we are in an unprecedented human crisis because of a microscopic virus,” said Guterres. “We need to respond with unity and solidarity.”

With the same sentiment and goal in mind, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the participants at the meeting that, “Canada is ready to do our part as we help bring the world together in the fight against COVID-19”. 

“This is our chance to begin a conversation on how we can emerge from this truly global crisis as a stronger and more cohesive world,” Trudeau said.

“One that creates growth for everyone, addresses inequality and cares for the most vulnerable”.

COVID-19 Global Stats

Cases: 5.93 Million

Recoveries: 2.39 Million

Deaths: 358 Thousand

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