The planet is in an unprecedented situation, in which Covid-19 has impacted billions of people, assailed our world and revealed the fragility of the health systems in every single country.
According to the World Health Organisation’s recommendations, governments everywhere have introduced rigid mandatory measures to their people, even though these measures are not sufficiently scientifically based because as yet, there is not enough information about the virus. By doing so, entire societies have been locked down. The consequences of this are that we are experiencing a health, social and economic tragedy, with the cessation of economies in every area of the population.
Twenty-first-century humans are armed with nuclear weapons, supersonic missiles, aircraft carriers, submarines, drones and modern technology and yet are terrified and powerless against an invisible enemy - a microscopic virus. A massive vaccination campaign of the world population in response to Covid-19 has marked the beginning of 2021. In all countries, but mostly in the United States and the European Union, the vaccination program is being rapidly implemented in order to control and stop the spread of the virus. At the same time, there is also a huge vaccination program, which is a fulfillment of the United Nation Agenda, 2030 as part of its sustainable development goals: the Global Immunisation of the world’s population was anticipated for this decade. In the coming years, humanity will be confronted with the catastrophic consequences caused by these extreme Covid restrictions.
The pandemic is incredibly serious and cannot be underestimated, but for more than a year the pandemic has been the only thing that has been discussed, whilst other severe illnesses are set aside. There is very little talk, or indeed no talk, about the many other pressing issues people are facing. These include wars, refugees, and people dying of hunger and disease. During this time, eighty million people have been forced to flee their homes, there is continued violence around the world with little respect for human rights, as well as a pandemic of hunger.
For example, according to the annual report of the World Food Programme, humanity runs the risk of a great number of deaths because of famine that is related to the Covid-19 measures. More than seven million people have died from hunger this year alone. Global poverty (115 million people are at risk of being pushed into extreme poverty) and climate problems are all causing hundreds of thousands of deaths daily.
There is no longer any information, or at least very little, about the intolerable situation in Yemen, caused by continued heavy bombardments from Saudi Arabia, with the complicity of the West and France and Germany. These countries are contributing to the humanitarian disaster in Yemen by continuing to sell arms which are used to commit unspeakable atrocities, leaving more than sixteen million people without essential goods, and thousands dying every day, including innocent children.
The war in Syria is not yet over. Wars are continuing in Libya, Ethiopia and Afghanistan as well as in many other countries, including new wars breaking out in the middle of this pandemic. There are only occasional reports about the plight of Rohingya refugees, no more news about migrants in Greece, or the brutality that men, women and children are experiencing at the hands of their smugglers and the Bosnian, Croatian and Hungarian security forces. There is no more information about the crises in Venezuela and Hong Kong. The list is long and the impact of pandemics is so much more difficult for these vulnerable groups. Most of the international community is indifferent to the suffering of others but there has to be a reflection, emergency reaction, and solidarity in order to support these people. Many endangered people in poor countries are managing to survive because of the solidarity and support from some active international humanitarian organizations including the International Confederation of the Red Cross, the World Food Programme, the United Nation High Commission for Refugees, the Food and Agricultural Organisation, countries including Norway and Denmark.
The pandemic has disrupted life for everyone around the world, and let us hope that this year the vaccination will stop the virus and positive changes will come about.
In 2015, the 193 member states of the U.N. adopted the Agenda 2030 and agreed to work on the realization of the seventeen sustainable development goals. This Agenda included global, social and economic dimensions. The sustainable development goals of the Agenda are addressing the pressing problems of today: poverty, hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, human rights, sustainable economic growth and decent work for all, protection of the planet and climate action, responsible production and consumption, reduction of inequalities amongst countries, clean water and sanitation, access to sustainable modern energy, sustainable cities, gender equality, peace and justice and partnerships for these goals. It has also been suggested that the governments include an 18th goal - to dampen population growth. The world and the U.N. have to reduce population growth. In The Overpopulation Project (10 September 2019) it was stated that there are 7.7 billion people on the planet and that increasing this population will create more pollution, more food production and climate disturbance. Sir David Attenborough's documentary film, A Life on Our Planet, speaks about human population growth and the impact that unsustainable consumption will have on the planet. Also, that humanity should stop consuming so many resources, change production technology, and ensure universal access to modern reproductive healthcare. It was also written that only by adopting new sustainable development goals related to population growth, would the world be able to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
Good health, well-being, reproductive rights and family planning are mentioned in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3, but later it is stated that these goals do not explicitly aim to reduce population growth. The United Nations 17th S.D.G. suggested that there is no longer any need to reduce global population growth, even though it is a serious problem which determines and underlies most of the sustainable development goals.
Governments have to co-operate and strive to promote efficiency in achieving the goals of the Agenda. In order to do this, there must be international co-operation related to the protection of fundamental freedoms, the reduction of all forms of violence, as well as the protection and restoration of ecosystems in order to end hunger and poverty in all its forms and protection for the planet from degradation. Doing this will enable people to enjoy economic, social and technological progress, and to restore nuclear negotiations and also to stop wars. Unfortunately, the same signatory countries of the Agenda are the biggest polluters of the environment because of their industries. They do not respect human rights, produce and trade with arms, provoke and make wars. The international community has to provide assistance to developing countries in the implementation of the Agenda goals. Vulnerable population groups, refugees, ethnic minorities, migrants, should all be protected by national population programs to enable them to keep the dignity, freedom and personally held values of individuals. This will go towards ensuring food, security, shelter, healthcare and family welfare for all. National plans and strategies need to be supported, and additional financial resources given in favor of developing countries. Within this decade there needs to be a mobilization of national and international efforts against Covid-19 in order to decrease the personal and social impact of the pandemic and to achieve important advancements in global immunization of all populations. It is because of the pandemic that the socio-economic crisis is expected to be devastating for all countries with regard to productivity, loss of jobs and income.
Among the all-important goals from Agenda 2030 to be achieved in the next decade are global immunization (vaccination) and the global reduction of the population, adopted in 2015 and announced in September 2019.
In the following years, intervention programs and a global strategy will be needed against this unprecedented crisis, but the political classes in power are demonstrating that they are not able to face these global issues. These countries consider their own national interests rather than thinking about global needs. High-level dialogue with leading global experts is required which will focus on global health threats, climate change, education of young people who are experiencing great changes in the scholastic system caused by the pandemic measures, and global interconnectedness - all of which have enormous potential to accelerate human progress and scientific and technological innovation.
Achieving the millennium development goals of humanity proclaimed by the United Nations Organisation is a guide to be followed by all people, which will work towards progressive improvements in terms of a better quality of life for everyone.
The U.N. agencies should support countries in their scientific, technological development, human resources and efforts to implement the Agenda 2030, as well as engaging in peace, security and recovery. In addition, the role of efficient and effective U.N. systems in supporting the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals is crucial. Governments will then have primary responsibility for the follow-up and implementation of the goals.
The U.N. was established in order to uphold human values: knowledge, morality, responsibility dignity, civil duties, justice, honor, charity, solidarity, high cultural behavior amongst many others, to maintain international peace and security, achieve international co-operation and friendly relationships among nations. Countries and their governments, international organizations and the ONU are not guided by these values and are making very little effort when realizing their own goals.
The role of the United Nations Organisation has to be crucial in dealing with countries about the resolution of the many burning problems of humanity. The highest priority in this devastating situation should be the organization of the congress related to the current pandemic situation or an immediate conference to stop wars, and with engaged decisions for all countries. The ONU should and can save and preserve life, alleviate human suffering, stop wars and safeguard the dignity of the world's population, together with its existing numerous organizations and specialized agencies. However, international organizations, including the United Nations, are still structured in a constitution dominated by the superpowers. They have no strength to settle with balance and justice an international crisis in which classical procedures of mediation are inadequate.
A radical reform of the ONU status and regulations was unsuccessfully debated for years. Because of the inherent weakness of the institutions it is impossible to limit or deny any operation of the sovereign states. There is a vision for the future in which the ONU would become an active world government based on full sovereignty in a world power and therefore responsible for the welfare and common happiness of the entire mankind. Totally reformed on a wide scale, the ONU would become a federal institution, structured on the principles of democracy, freedom, equal opportunities, peace and welfare for every citizen. Racism, xenophobia, exploitation would be completely banished, as well as any form of military threat, proliferation of weapons and the use of force as a means of oppression.
The ‘One World Organisation’ would be a good first step, formed by qualified representatives of major world-wide cultures, with shared and unified sovereignty and democracy.
Coronavirus is reshaping the world. The next months and maybe years could be seen to be the most difficult in history, and the world is in a critical time. Is this situation taking us further into a society of those who are exploited and those who are doing the exploiting? Do we accept the ‘new normal’, or we are able to built a better world?