COVID-19 is biggest indication since WWII of UN importance: WHO chief


Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said countries were given sufficient warning. (Photo: AFP)

The COVID-19 pandemic has offered the biggest indication since World War II that the world needs the United Nations, according to the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom.

Tedros made the remarks on Monday, which was the 75th anniversary of the founding of the U.N.

"Perhaps no crisis since the Second World War has demonstrated more clearly why we need the UN than the COVID-19 pandemic," said the WHO chief. “We can only confront this common threat with a common approach.”

Tedros remarks came as the number of COVID-19 cases globally surpassed the 31.11 million mark, with a death toll exceeding 961,000.

He also took the opportunity to issue a three-point message from the WHO as world leaders meet virtually for the UN General Assembly this week.

"First, the pandemic must motivate us to redouble our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, not become an excuse for missing them.

"Second, we must prepare for the next pandemic now.

"And third, we must move heaven and earth to ensure equitable access to diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines," he said.