Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other world leaders called for global unity during a United Nations meeting on COVID-19 pandemic recovery on Thursday. The meeting aimed to find ways to help countries recover from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The meeting comes as Canada is in the middle of competing for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council. The country is running on a platform to rebuild the post-pandemic world.
"Our citizens need to have confidence in international institutions that leave no one behind and are capable of overcoming global challenges," Trudeau said in the meeting, noting that such institutions must take the lead in helping the world recover from the pandemic.
More than 50 world leaders joined the conference, as well as UN Secretary-General António Guterres and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, and Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley were among the heads of state present advocating for unity and collective action.
The only way the global economy can recover, and the only way our own economy can bounce back, is by doing this work together. So that’s what we’ll do - and we’ll report back with concrete proposals to the world’s economic challenges by mid-July. There’s no time to lose.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 28, 2020
"No single country can find a solution to this crisis. There can be no isolated solution. We have to address issues collectively, such as health, the environment, justice," Macron said.
Johnson and Solberg echoed this sentiment as well, claiming that working across borders is the only way to defeat the pandemic and continue to create social and environmental change.
Trudeau also said he wanted to see firm action towards a recovery plan, noting that countries that heavily rely on tourism will require financial assistance to bounce back.
With every country facing economic strain, the UN meeting compiled six areas of action needed to generate funding for a global economic recovery, including addressing debt vulnerability, aligning recovery policies with the UN's Global Goals, and expanding liquidity in the world economy.
The pandemic is currently on track to cut $8.5 trillion from the global economy and push over 34 million people into poverty by the end of the year if countries do not act now and work together to create a plan for recovery.
"Despite all the technological and scientific advances of recent decades, we are in an unprecedented human crisis because of a microscopic virus. We need to respond with unity and solidarity," Guterres said.