The Covid-19 pandemic provides us a chance “to come out better or worse”, and there are plenty of reasons to work to come out better, says Pope Francis.
Pope Francis has urged world leaders to use the coronavirus emergency as an opportunity to reform the injustices of the global economy and the “perverse logic” of the nuclear deterrence doctrine.
In a recorded video speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Pontiff stressed the world is facing unprecedented challenges stemming from the deadly coronavirus pandemic. It “has exposed our human fragility and has called into question our economic, health and social systems”, he said.
“The pandemic has shown us that we cannot live without one another, or worse still, pitted against one another. Therefore at this critical juncture, it is our duty to rethink the future of our common home and our common project,” he said
He asserted the crisis provides a chance “to come out better or worse”. And there are plenty of reasons to work to come out better, he said.
Preferential treatment to poor
The 75th session of the UNGA held mostly virtually this year because of the pandemic.
The novel Coronavirus, which made its first appearance in China’s Wuhan Province, has spread to 216 countries, areas or territories. And, so far it has claimed about 1 million lives and sickened around 33 million people, according to WHO data.
Some 150 coronavirus vaccines are in development, about two dozen are in human studies and a handful is in trials.
Pope Francis told the UN the poor should get preferential treatment when a vaccine for the coronavirus is ready.
He specifically highlighted the devastating effects of coronavirus on children, including the unaccompanied migrants and refugees. Instances of child abuse and violence have seen an increase, he pointed out.
The Pope also appealed for greater involvement and influence of the UN in protecting the poor, migrants and the environment.