Against inequality, Guterres proposes a “solidarity tax” for those who have benefited from the pandemic

Speaking at the Economic and Social Council Forum on Financing Financing, the UN chief said Monday that a “paradigm shift” is needed to align the private sector with global goals to meet future challenges, including those arising from COVID-19. Development.

The Secretary General From the United Nations to the bleak expectations of the past year More than three million people have died from the coronavirus, and nearly 120 million have fallen into extreme poverty It lost 255 million full-time jobs, causing the worst recession in 90 years.

António Guterres pointed out that, due to the development of the disease, the future of the crisis is far-fetched, so it is necessary to “pay attention to the lessons of the present” in order to “reverse these dangerous trends, prevent successive waves of infection, avoid a prolonged global recession and return to the right path to achieve the sustainable development plan for the year” 2030 and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. “

COVID-19 puts multilateralism to the test

The Secretary-General of the United Nations indicated that the recovery from the epidemic and the momentum needed for a fair global response while we live puts multilateralism at stake, a topic that Guterres has so far considered a failure.

As evidence, he cited examples such as that only ten countries in the world are responsible for about 75% of global vaccinations, while many They have not yet started vaccinating health workers and their most vulnerable citizens.

“The global vaccine shortage threatens the health and well-being of everyone. The virus is dangerous everywhere if it spreads out of control anywhere. (…) He stressed that some estimates place the global cost of inequality in obtaining and storing vaccines at more than nine. Trillions of dollars.

Guterres stressed the need to achieve “unity and solidarity” to save lives and avoid disastrous debts and imbalances.

UNICEF / Adrian Musingozzi

A healthcare worker takes a vial of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine from a refrigerated container in Uganda.

Fair access to vaccines and taxes for the wealthy

Then he called for action in six priority areas, starting with closing the funding gap for the UN-backed COVAX mechanism, and seeking to inject two billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine into a quarter of the poorest countries’ populations by the end of 2021.

“To permanently end the epidemic We need equitable access to vaccines for everyone, everywhere“, He said.

The Secretary-General also called for development aid to be directed mainly to countries where it is most needed and proposed a new tax.

The most recent reports indicate that last year there was a $ 5 trillion increase in the fortunes of the world’s richest people. I urge governments to consider the possibility Impose a solidarity or wealth tax on those who benefited during the pandemicTo reduce extreme disparities. “

Unsplash / Priscilla de Breeze

An agreement must be reached for digital companies to pay taxes that help raise funds for sustainable development.

There is a lack of a new social contract that serves as a basis for sustainable and inclusive development

On the indebtedness crisis, he suggested that they be suspended And lightning and granting liquidity to countries that need it.

“But we have to go beyond easing it,” he said, urging strengthening “of the international debt structure to end the deadly cycles of debt waves, global debt crises and lost contracts.”

Another priority measure proposed by him is investment in a new social contract, based on solidarity and investments in education, decent and green jobs, social protection and health systems that would form “the basis for sustainable and inclusive development.”

“This forum must provide ambition and momentum for financing a resilient, inclusive, equitable and sustainable future for all,” concluded the Secretary-General.

A 90-year throwback

For his part, the President of the General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, noted that the Covid-19 pandemic “has caused the largest economic downturn in 90 years, destroying lives and livelihoods.”

Although the vaccines provide light at the end of the tunnel, he said, ”Years of social and economic impact lie ahead“.

Nevertheless, the president of the association said the forum provided an opportunity “to lay the foundations for a healthy recovery”.

“Let’s take advantage of this crisis to head towards a more sustainable and resilient path,” To demonstrate the strength and utility of the multilateral system To build a world we are proud to pass on to future generations. “

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