Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization 2021
06 July 2021
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic dominated the past year, around the world and at the United Nations. We are a world in mourning for the millions of people whom we have lost. The pandemic is the greatest shared global challenge since the founding of our Organization; every country has faced pain, uncertainty and vulnerability. The global health, social, economic and human rights crises triggered by the pandemic have underscored the importance of multilateral cooperation and tested it to the limit.
The United Nations has been central to the pandemic response, from safeguarding people and jobs to assisting Governments in ensuring a sustainable and equitable recovery. We supported some 160 countries in tackling the health, humanitarian, social and economic impacts of COVID-19 and helped more than 260 million children to access remote learning. At the same time, we contributed to the creation and operationalization of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and its COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility. The only way to end the pandemic is to deliver vaccines to every country.
We have also been leading and actively contributing to the larger conversations around health security, global financial stability and the dawning recognition of the world’s deep fragility. That fragility relates to rising poverty and hunger; prolonged conflicts and human rights crises; skyrocketing levels of inequality within and between societies; the ungoverned development of new technologies; the erosion of the nuclear disarmament regime; and the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and rising levels of air and water pollution. It has never been clearer that our fates are interconnected and that the inability to solve shared problems is creating unacceptable risks.
The path to stronger, more resilient societies lies in a transformative recovery process rooted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. Over the past year, we have worked closely with Governments around the world to launch the decade of action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, by supporting recovery packages that address the climate crisis, invest in renewable energy and sustainability, reduce inequalities and exclusion and promote gender equality. We have supported broad efforts to provide robust social protection systems and strengthen health systems and universal health coverage. My call for peace in the home in April 2020 was followed by a system-wide focus on the importance of gender-sensitive response policies, including protection against gender-based violence. Learn more here