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Primordiality of global solidarity

By Ioan Voicu - posted Thursday, 24 December 2020

Even in the current highly fragmented and chaotic world, a diplomatic initiative launched in May 2020 by 120 members of the Non-aligned Movement could not be ignored by the United Nations (UN) and the UN General Assembly (UNGA) through the valuable efforts of its President Volkan Bozkir decided for the first time in the history of the world organisation to convene a special session dedicated to winning the war against an invisible enemy Covid-19.

This session which took place in New York on 3-4 and 7 December 2020 was unique for several reasons. First of all because it was conducted in a fully virtual manner, it had a nearly universal participation, with highest level of representation of most countries, including heads of state and government, ministers of foreign affairs, ministers of health, a large participation of UN agencies and bodies in front with the World Health Organization (WHO).Also present were many experts with great reputation in the field of health.According to the speakers list, there were 141 speakers inscribed, including 53 heads of state, 39 heads of government, four deputy prime ministers and 38 ministers.

Diplomatic maturity


The session illustrated an increasing diplomatic maturity of member states which was demonstrated by many responsible assessments about the collective fight against Covid-19 and by some specific proposals advanced for further action.

The deliberations showed also ,at least intellectually, a strong collective wish to learn from the mistakes of the past, including first of all from the tragic lessons, not yet fully assimilated ,provided by the unforgettable pandemic of 1918 .At the same time, the session launched a general call to be solidary, not egoistic, to be innovative and not conservative and to have confidence in the potential of the scientific world community.


Moreover, the session reaffirmed the value of multilateralism and the reality of unavoidable interdependence at the global level. But one of the most important conclusions was the clear recognition that the key for transforming the interdependence into a great opportunity for positive action is by accepting at the planetary level the imperative nature of global solidarity.

We will provide a few examples in these pages related to the duty of solidarity as an imperative prerequisite for successfully fighting Covid-19 which has generated a multi-vectorial crisis at the global level.

Best line of defense


In the opinion of Volkan Bozkir, the UNGA President, 2020 was the year of Covid-19 in which "solidarity was our first and best line of defense, as Member States united, to combat this existential threat to humanity". In the view of the WHO , "With 65 million infected and 1.5 million deaths, the health crisis is global, but not all countries have responded or been affected equally. Responses involving solidarity and sacrifice show the virus can be tamed and stopped, but where there is self-interest, the virus thrives and spread".

Indeed, it is not only the greatest global health crisis since the UN creation 75 years ago, but it is also a humanitarian, socio-economic, security and human rights crisis, making it a multi-vectorial crisis. This is the reason many speakers urged that the most effective means to mitigate the Covid-19 crisis is through global solidarity and cooperation.

Some representatives condemned efforts to politicize issues surrounding the pandemic, including that of vaccination, as such actions do not demonstrate solidarity and delay the implementation of life-saving measures. All countries must act in solidarity to strengthen the global health system under the leadership of WHO and with support by all relevant UN agencies.

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About the Author

Dr Ioan Voicu is a Visiting Professor at Assumption University in Bangkok

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