global, multilateral and EU-related measures to tackle COVID-19 and its consequences



29 MAY

Sharing tools to fight COVID-19 'the best shot the world has' - WHO  briefing

World Health Organization media briefing 29 May with updates on COVID-19.

New COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) will make vaccines, tests, treatments and other innovations created to fight COVID-19 accessible to all.

Thirty-five governments have signed up to a global 'COVID-19 Technology Access Pool' (C-TAP) to share intellectual property on a voluntary basis and increase equitable access to important technologies and treatments.


The initiative has five priorities:


  • Public disclosure of gene sequencing research.

  • Public disclosure of all clinical trial results.

  • Encouraging governments and research funders to include clauses in contracts with pharmaceutical companies about equitable distribution and publication of trial data.

  • Licensing treatments and vaccines to large and small producers.

  • Promoting open innovation models and technology transfer that increase local manufacturing and supply capacity.

24 MAY

The world can only contain COVID-19 if every person has access to accurate, reliable information. That’s down to all of us. Verified is our new initiative to encourage everyone to check the advice we share.

Verified is an initiative of the United Nations, in collaboration with Purpose, to provide content that cuts through the noise to deliver life-saving information, fact-based advice and stories from the best of humanity.

By promoting and sharing Verified content, everyday people can play a crucial role in the work of Verified by spreading reliable information about COVID-19 to their friends, families and social networks, with the goal of saving lives and countering misinformation. Organisations, businesses, civil society and media platforms partner with Verified to spread information that helps protect people, communities and forges connections across the planet.

20 MAY

UN Middle East peace envoy warns against unilateral action on all sides, as Israel threatens West Bank annexation

The UN’s Middle East peace envoy issued a stern warning on Wednesday against any unilateral action – including an Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank – that could undermine diplomatic efforts to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

Council plea

  • He urged the Council to join Secretary-General António Guterres in his call against unilateral action, noting that recent opinion polls indicate that the Israeli public is split on the annexation question.

  • He also urged the Middle East Quartet – comprising the Russian Federation, United States, European Union and United Nations – to quickly come up with a proposal that would enable it to take up its mediation role, and work jointly with countries in the region to advance prospects for peace.

Everyone must do their part


  • “Israel must abandon threats of annexation”, he added, “and the Palestinian leadership must re-engage with all members of the Quartet.  Everybody must do their part.”

  • For the moment, the situation on the ground remains dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Palestinian and Israeli authorities – despite growing political tensions – continuing to coordinate their efforts to limit the spread of the deadly virus while also carefully reopening economic life, Mr. Mladenov said.

  • However, while Palestinians are experiencing the same shock and uncertainty as the rest of the globe, their Government – the Palestinian Authority - cannot respond with the same agency as an independent and sovereign country, he noted.

19 may

Syria: UN relief chief appeals for renewal of lifesaving cross-border aid operation

The UN’s top aid official has urged the Security Council to renew a mechanism that provides lifesaving assistance to millions of desperate people in northwest Syria, through cross-border deliveries from Turkey.

Humanitarian Coordinator Mark Lowcock made the appeal on Tuesday during a virtual briefing to ambassadors in which he outlined the pressing need to keep the trucks rolling, amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UN boosts COVID-19 support


  • Meanwhile, the UN is supporting COVID-19 preparedness and response across Syria, where the authorities have so far confirmed 58 cases and three fatalities. While none have been in the northwest, the region remains at high risk of an outbreak.

  • The UN is also boosting efforts to expand testing capacity and case investigation, as well as infection prevention and control.

  • Although a UN humanitarian fund has already dispersed some $23 million for preventative measures, Mr. Lowcock said significant shortages in personal protective equipment and other medical items remain.

  • The UN Secretary-General recently called for the waiver of sanctions that could impede countries’ efforts to beat back the pandemic: a message echoed by his Special Envoy for Syria, who briefed the Council on Monday.

  • Mr. Lowcock has welcomed commitments to apply humanitarian exceptions to these measures.

8 & 11 MAY

COVID-19: UN counters pandemic-related hate and xenophobia | IOM | 8 May

Secretary-General António Guterres launches the United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech:
ANTÓNIO GUTERRES: "We must act now to strengthen the immunity of our societies against the virus of hate"


COVID-19 does not care who we are, where we live, what we believe or about any other distinction.  We need every ounce of solidarity to tackle it together.  Yet the pandemic continues to unleash a tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering.

Anti-foreigner sentiment has surged online and in the streets. Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have spread, and COVID-19-related anti-Muslim attacks have occurred.  Migrants and refugees have been vilified as a source of the virus -- and then denied access to medical treatment.  With older persons among the most vulnerable, contemptible memes have emerged suggesting they are also the most expendable.  And journalists, whistleblowers, health professionals, aid workers and human rights defenders are being targeted simply for doing their jobs.


As instances of hate speech, stigma, discrimination and xenophobia continue to rise as a result of COVID-19, the United Nations and its partners are working to ensure that solidarity prevails during the pandemic.  Migrants and refugees are among those who have falsely been blamed and vilified for spreading the virus.

To tackle this head-on, community health workers at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) immediately started making phone calls to returned migrants, checking in on their wellbeing and that of their family members.

United Nations Guidance Note on Addressing and Countering COVID-19 related Hate Speech | 11 May

8 may

UN supports routine – yet vital – health services while fighting COVID-19

As COVID-19 disrupts the response to a whole host of preventable diseases, such as measles and malaria, the United Nations is working to ensure that essential health services remain accessible during the pandemic.

Analyses from the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa indicate that more people died from measles, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis due to health system failures than from Ebola, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, which highlighted the urgent need to maintain essential health services while simultaneously fighting COVID-19.

17 april

COVID-19 responses must be built on human solidarity, ILO tells World Bank/IMF | 17 April 2020 

“In submissions to the Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank the ILO Director-General has laid out a four-pillar plan of policy responses to the COVID-19 crisis, that are human-centered and built on global solidarity.” 

16 april

Interventions to support enterprises during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery | International Labour Organization (ILO)

“International cooperation and technical assistance will be essential to help countries recover from the economic downturn as quickly as possible and minimize human suffering. “

14 april



“Within this context, UNWTO has stressed the importance of international dialogue and cooperation. This shared challenge also presents the global community, including the tourism sector, to work more closely together and show that solidarity can go beyond national borders.” 

12 april

Considerations for employment-intensive works in response to COVID-19 | International Labour Organization (ILO)

9 april

april - december


The Global Humanitarian Response Plan is a joint and collective effort among all stakeholders, facilitated at global level by OCHA.”

“The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) under the leadership of the Emergency Relief Coordinator, will oversee the global-level coordination and will liaise with other stakeholders, such as the UN Crisis Management Team, as needed.”

6 april

The COVID-19 Crisis: Accentuating the Need to Bridge Digital Divides | UNCTAD “Multilateralism is vital in a World facing critical development challenges”​


Port Responsiveness in the fight against the “invisible” threat: COVID-19 | UNCTAD


In the current unprecedented times of a global threat posed by a coronavirus pandemic that has triggered dire consequences for whole societies and nations, the maritime industry is playing an essential role in the response. Around 80% of global trade is transported by commercial shipping. This includes currently most-needed items such as vital medical supplies and equipment, as well as food, energy, raw materials and manufactured goods and components. These are essential for addressing people’s basic needs and for preserving many jobs in manufacturing, maintaining international trade and, in the end, sustaining the global economy.

In view of this, it is important to keep supply chains open and to allow maritime trade to continue. This requires that the world’s ports remain open for ship calls and that ship crews’ changeover is allowed. Further, in these challenging times, some additional measures should be undertaken to protect the staff working in port communities and to ensure continuity of ports’ operations. 

31 march

SHARED RESPONSIBILITY, GLOBAL SOLIDARITY: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 | 


UN launches COVID-19 plan that could ‘defeat the virus and build a better world’ | 31. March

"The recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must lead to a different economy" | 31 March


The magnitude of the response must match the scale of the crisis -- large-scale, coordinated and comprehensive, with the country and international responses being guided by the World Health Organization.

And it must be multilateral, with countries showing solidarity to the most vulnerable communities and nations.
The message of the report we are issuing today is clear: shared responsibility and global solidarity in response to the impacts of COVID-19.


31 march

UN launches COVID-19 plan that could ‘defeat the virus and build a better world’

31 march

"The recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must lead to a different economy"

The magnitude of the response must match the scale of the crisis -- large-scale, coordinated and comprehensive, with country and international responses being guided by the World Health Organization.

And it must be multilateral, with countries showing solidarity to the most vulnerable communities and nations.

The message of the report we are issuing today is clear: shared responsibility and global solidarity in response to the impacts of COVID-19.

30 march

The Secretary-General’s UN Response and Recovery Fund


“A coherent UN System response - linking global vision to country action - channeled through a common financing mechanism and built on specific UN Agency mandates, operational strengths, programmatic offers and existing procedures” 

23 march

ILO Standards and COVID-19 | International Labour Organization (ILO) 

Key provisions of international labour standards relevant to the evolving COVID19 outbreak ​

13 march

Secretary-General:  Statement By António Guterres on COVID-19: We will come through this together


ANTÓNIO GUTERRES presented 14 statements since the beginning of this Global Health Crisis. In his first statement, on the 13th of March, he highlighted three main principles that the International Society should endorse: Prudence, Science, and Facts avoiding panic, stigma, and fear. Moreover, Mr. GUTERRES called attention to the vulnerable entities who are the most affected because of this Global Health Crisis namely, elderly, people who are on pre-existing medical conditions, individuals who do not have access to reliable health care, and who live in poverty. He adopted a language of solidarity illustrated by mobilizing all the world against one enemy, COVID-19. Furthermore, he argued that States should act together facing this unusual situation in order to “revitalize economies, expand public investment, boost trade, and support vulnerable entities.” “We are facing a health threat unlike any other in our lifetimes."  

11 march



“Key Principles: The importance of international cooperation and responsible leadership at this critical time, + The solidarity of the tourism sector and of individual tourists, as well as the responsibility both have for helping minimize the spread and impact of COVID-19 + The key role tourism can play in both containing the COVID-19 outbreak and in leading future response efforts

Global Arena Research Institute launches the "Beyond" Initiative 

The global COVID-19 emergency emphasizes local and nation-based responses and national

collectivism in general. In the short term, it is understandable. The multilateral institutions (including the EU) were not devised with such a scenario in mind.

However, in the long run, going national and going local is not the way forward. Nation-states cannot win the fight against COVID-19 (or similar threats in the future) by themselves. Moreover, there is a mounting risk that such a nationalist bias will endure and last beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

GARI believes, instead, that it is imperative to look "beyond" the local and national horizons

As of today, GARI launches the initiative "Beyond" to stress this point. We are starting by tracking and highlighting global, multilateral and EU-related measures to tackle COVID-19 and its consequences. We believe that the COVID-19 coverage in the (social) media favours reporting on national measures and national policies and politics, thus further prompts nationalism as such. 

Our subsequent goal is to follow on implementation and impact of these measures in a coherent and continuous manner.

Any suggestions, inputs or comments welcome (via FB messenger, LinkedIn or email  

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The world must establish a genuine dialogue between the most advanced technologies and artificial reasoning capabilities on the one hand, and the normative and critical capabilities of the social sciences on the other. We have reached the point where their mutual inspiration and cross-fertilization is a must.



© 2020 by GARI