U.N. Secretary-General urges G-20 leaders to unify behind coronavirus intervention

RIYADH / NEW YORK — With most of the world experiencing economic downturns due to the coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement that Mark Lucock, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, will allocate $100 million from an emergency U.N. fund to fight hunger in developing and impoverished countries.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called on leaders of the G-20 countries to take bold action to prevent a coronavirus induced global recession.

In his message to the G-20 on Tuesday, Guterres stressed that international division about ways towards recovery means putting everyone at risk and taking interventive action now will both save money in the long-term and save lives.

Guterres warned that the current crisis could push an additional 155 million people into poverty and severe hunger could double to more than 250 million globally.

He appealed for the G-20 countries to close the $28 billion funding gap needed to speed up access to tools to fight the virus.

In related news, the United Nations General Assembly organized a session to discuss the work and future of the Security Council following numerous criticisms of the five permanent members of the Council who continue to use their veto power in the pursuit of their own interests.

President of the General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir of Turkey, said that the Council had on several occasions failed to uphold its responsibility to maintain international peace and security. Even in some of the most urgent humanitarian crises, the Council had failed to provide an appropriate and timely response, a serious setback to the founding principles of the United Nations, said Bozkir.

Bozkir stressed that the United Nations is in need of deeper reforms and it is clear that reforming the Security Council is, although difficult, inevitable.