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A world evolving at faster pace amid ravaging pandemic

BEIJING (Xinhua) -- With the COVID-19 pandemic fast changing the world, humankind has suffered a major setback in 2020. Faced with unprecedented changes, risks and uncertainties, people are forced to rethink the path into the future.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers a speech calling for global solidarity and a sense of urgency to confront COVID-19 at a UN General Assembly special session at the UN headquarters in New York, on December 3, 2020. --Photo Xinhua

In this year, choices of solidarity or division, openness or isolation, cooperation or confrontation were made. At a time of crisis, some buried their heads in the sand, playing the blame game while ignoring the truth.
The vast majority of countries, however, chose friendship and cooperation in the battle against the pandemic, believing that crisis could entail opportunities if the right response is made.
This fully shows that the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind has taken roots and people from around the world have come to the understanding that the concept offers a fundamental action plan to help address global challenges.
The number of COVID-19 cases reported worldwide has reached about 77.9 million as of Wednesday, with over 1.7 million coronavirus-related deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. With rocketing cases and deaths of COVID-19, uncertainties and risks keep rising.
The World Bank’s Global Economic Prospect report in June suggested that COVID-19 has triggered the deepest global recession in decades, forecasting a 5.2-percent contraction in global gross domestic product. The forecast envisions a 7.0-percent contraction for developed economies, and shrinking per capita incomes in most emerging and developing economies.
Massive wealth has evaporated under the impact of the pandemic. Trade and investment declined, finance=ial markets reeled in turmoil, and recovery is lacking momentum.
The pandemic highlighted the need for policy action to cushion its consequences, protect vulnerable populations and improve countries’ capacity to cope with similar future challenges, said the World Bank report.
Some countries, however, chose to turn a blind eye to the challenges, instead of joining hands with others to fight the common enemy. Some chose to withdraw into national isolation, stoking unilateralism, protectionism, populism and hegemonism.
The United States, in particular, withdrew from the World Health Organisation and the Open Skies Treaty, interfered with the selection process of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation, wielded unilateral sanctions against other countries and exercised long-arm jurisdiction, harming the international multilateral system with the United Nations at its core.
“The COVID-19 pandemic provides overwhelming evidence that we need more - and more effective - multilateralism, with vision, ambition and impact,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres via video earlier this month at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum.


(Latest Update Deceember 25, 2020)

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