May 28 (UPI) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for countries throughout the world to work to take action in six areas to limit the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a virtual meeting on financing and development, Guterres called on nations to address the global liquidity crisis, provide “durable” solutions to debt, urge private creditors holding sovereign debt of developing countries to provide debt relief, align incentives in global financial systems with the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, “plug the leaks” of illicit financial flow and “recover better” from the pandemic.
“Getting through COVID-19 and recovering better will cost money. But the alternative will cost far more,” he said. “This is a global crisis, and it’s up to all of us to solve it.”
Guterres warned that if nations don’t come together to take action, the pandemic will cause “unimaginable suffering around the world” forecasting 60 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty and loss of $8.5 trillion in global output.
He added the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated deep inequalities and injustices in the global financial system, especially among women.
“All our efforts must go towards building sustainable and resilient pathways that enable us not only to beat COVID-19, but to tackle the climate crisis, reduce inequality and eradicate poverty and hunger,” said Guterres.
President of the General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande said that nations of the world must “rethink our economic systems” in order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
“Now is the time to revise the financial architecture,” he said, adding plans to do so must “not only address current liquidity shortages, but also provide durable solutions that create vital fiscal space for investments in sustainable development for countries in need.”