UN General Assembly Adopts Resolution on COVID-19

On Friday, the General Assembly adopted an omnibus resolution to promote international cooperation in response to COVID-19.

Resolution 169-2, with two abstentions, recognizes international cooperation, multilateralism and unity as the only way for the world to respond effectively to global crises such as COVID-19, reports Xinhua.

It recognizes the crucial leadership role of the World Health Organization and the fundamental role of the UN framework in catalyzing and organizing the comprehensive global response to COVID-19 and the core efforts of the Member States.

It supports the UN Secretary-General 's call for an immediate global truce, acknowledges the effect of the pandemic on war-affected states and those at risk of violence, and supports the continued work of UN peacekeeping operations.

It calls on Member States and all related actors to foster integration and solidarity in response to COVID-19 and to avoid, speak out and take concrete action against racism, xenophobia, hate speech, abuse 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.

It reiterates the need to ensure the secure, timely and unhindered access of humanitarian and medical personnel responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It urges States to refrain from enacting and implementing any unilateral diplomatic, financial or trade measures that do not comply with international law and the Charter of the United Nations which hinder the full achievement of economic and social growth , especially 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 related stakeholders to take strong and concrete steps to resolve the immediate social and economic impacts of COVID-19, while at the same time trying to get back on track towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

It welcomes the steps taken by the Group of 20 and the Paris Club to ensure a time-limited suspension of debt service payments for the poorest countries and international financial institutions to provide liquidity and other support measures to ease the debt burden of developing countries, and encourages all relevant actors to resolve the 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 calls on Member States to prevent and combat illicit financial flows and to improve international cooperation and good practices on the return and recovery of assets and to introduce effective measures to prevent and fight corruption.

It calls on Member States and international financial institutions to provide more liquidity to the financial system, especially in all developing countries and encourages a continued study of the wider use of special drawing rights to improve the resilience of the international monetary system.

The resolution reaffirms its complete dedication to the 2030 Plan for Sustainable Development as a roadmap for a successful post-pandemic recovery.

It encourages Member States to adopt a climate-and environmental-sensitive approach to COVID-19 recovery efforts and stresses that climate change mitigation is an immediate and urgent global priority.


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