Actual: United Nations Organization calls for lifting sanctions
1 April 2020

UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the G20 leaders to lift sanctions that impede the delivery of medicines, food, and essential goods in connection with the spread of coronavirus, that would be a demonstration of solidarity and support.

António Guterres also emphasized that he considered the decision of the G20 to hold an online emergency summit on the situation with the coronavirus important. The changes taking place in the world will certainly have an impact on the global economy, therefore the decisions of the leaders of the G20 countries are very important. According to the UN Secretary-General, the G20 has "an exceptional opportunity to take a step forward with a powerful response package to address the various threats associated with coronavirus."

As the UN Secretary General noted that the world faced serious challenges: “COVID-19 will require a response like none before — a “war-time” plan. The G-20 leadership has an extraordinary opportunity to step forward with a strong response package to address the various threats of COVID-19. This would demonstrate solidarity with the world’s people, especially the most vulnerable”.

According to António Guterres the most important questions should be coordination and cooperation in combating the virus, minimizing the social and economic impact of the pandemic, and using inclusive development models.

On these matters, António Guterres, in particular, said:

  • We need to establish additional transportation and supply chains to fight the virus across all borders. The United Nations global supply network is fully at your disposal.
  • We must create the conditions and mobilize the resources necessary to ensure that developing countries have equal opportunities to respond to this crisis in their communities and economies.
  • I urge G-20 leaders to commit to ban tariffs, quotas or non-tariff measures, and remove restrictions on cross border trade that affect the deployment of medical equipment, medicines and other essential goods to fight the epidemic.
  • And I am encouraging the waiving of sanctions imposed on countries to ensure access to food, essential health supplies, and COVID-19 medical support.This is the time for solidarity not exclusion.
  • I urge G-20 leaders to consider the urgent launch of a large-scale, coordinated stimulus package in the trillions of dollars to target the direct provision of resources to businesses, workers and households in those countries unable to do so alone. This would include scaling up cash transfer measures, social protection, tax abatement, fiscal stimulus, low interest rates.
  • The current crisis is a stark reminder of humanity’s common fate and of the need for upfront investments to reduce the catastrophic downstream risks of the pandemic. It also provides a watershed moment for investment in critical public services and global public goods.
  • The upcoming extraordinary meeting allows G-20 leaders to make a decisive step forward in our battle against COVID-19 and re-establish trust in public institutions and the hope for a better future in solidarity. I am convinced that only international coordination can avoid a worst-case scenario.

According to materials:  Note to Correspondents: Letter from the Secretary-General to G-20 Members

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