Editorial | UN must take lead

The necessary actions taken by the governments world over to save human lives in the face of covid were indispensable. Without lockdown human lives could not have been saved. In a country as populous as India if the virus would spread the way it did in New York, one shudders at the thought of what it could have meant for human lives. So this lockdown has been successful in stopping the spread of this pandemic, and consequently saving human lives. But the story doesn’t end there. The lockdown has unleashed a crisis, which if not dealt with, can result in a crisis far bigger than the covid -19 itself. This is the loss of livelihood, loss of economic security, and breakdown of many small, medium, and even large scale financial institutions. If, God forbid, the adverse economic impact of this crisis is not contained its effects will devastate families, spawning multiple crises. Sensing this the governments around the world did announce some financial and welfare packages, but that is only sufficient to meet the immediate challenges. The long term effects are more grave. To meet the challenge national governments and transnational organisations will have to think out of box, and save the human communities around the global from an imminent collapse. UN as the apex international organisation must take a lead role in this, and the just made public commitment by this organisation is a good beginning. The roadmap to support countries’ path to social and economic recovery post COVID-19 pandemic is a timely initiative.

As underlined by the UN it calls for an extraordinary scaling-up of international support and political commitment to ensure that people everywhere have access to essential services and social protection. It requires “shared responsibility, global solidarity and urgent action for people in need”. If some extra-ordinary steps are not taken, and if a new thinking is not developed on this matter, we cannot protect jobs, businesses and livelihoods. And to save economies world over from crumbling, it is crucial to have global solidarity, and an international commitment.