COVID19- A global problem that demands global response built on Unity, and Solidarity, UNSG

The annual Africa Dialogue Series 2020 has been held virtually to discuss some of the pressing issues facing the continent.

The Secretary-General António Guterres has indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic is a global problem that demands a global response.

According to him, “The pandemic has exposed the fragility of all societies. It is a global problem that demands a coordinative global response built on unity and solidarity”.

He was speaking at the opening of the Africa Dialogue Series 2020 held virtually on the theme; “COVID-19 and Silencing the guns in Africa: Challenges and opportunities”.

The UN Chief averred that “The pandemic is affecting capacity to support peace and security efforts in Africa adding that, “It will be essential for African countries to sustain their efforts to silence the guns and address violent extremism”.

“My message to the international community is that “failure to respond quickly and adequately could jeopardize progress towards Silencing the Guns by 2020 and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa’s Agenda 2063” he emphasized.

Mr. António Guterres commended the efforts of African countries towards the fight against the pandemic, together with the African Union, saying that “As Covid-19 spreads across Africa, its governments have responded swiftly”.

He however indicated that; “These are still early days for the pandemic in Africa, many difficult decisions will need to be taken as the pandemic unfolds, and it will be essential to retain the trust and participation of citizens throughout”.  

He called for international action to strengthen Africa’s health systems, maintain food supplies, avoid financial crisis, support education, protect jobs, keep households and businesses afloat, and cushion the continent against lost income and export earnings.   

He stressed the need for African countries to have quick, equal and affordable access to any eventual vaccine and treatment that must be considered global public goods, adding that “Ending the pandemic in Africa is essential for ending it across the world”. 

President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Tiijani Muhammad-Bande extended sympathies to people who have lost loved ones due to the virus and also congratulated nurses and front line staff including UN employees and the African Union as well as UN peacekeeping troops working to keep the world safe.

He pledged the UN’s continues support in addressing the deepening inequalities that nations are facing due to the pandemic.

“We must approach the Covid-19 with our sight on 2063. We cannot achieve peaceful, prosperous and successful society if we do not silence the guns in Africa” he noted.

The Africa Dialogue Series is held annually ahead of Africa Day to bring attention to the most pressing issues affecting the African continent. Currently, Africa, like the rest of the world, is grappling with the #COVID-19 pandemic, while conflict, is a challenge that affects some countries on the continent.

Written by
Cynthia Prah
Communications Officer
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations