The global coronavirus pandemic has exposed the fragility of our world, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres said Saturday.
Delivering a virtual lecture on the occasion of the 102nd birthday anniversary of the late Nelson Mandela, Guterres said the need for a more equal world is now.
“COVID-19 is a human tragedy, but it has also created a generational opportunity, an opportunity to build back a more equal and sustainable world. The response to the pandemic, and to the widespread discontent that preceded it must be based on a new social contract and a new global deal that create equal opportunities for all and respect the rights and freedoms of all”, Guterres said.
The UN chief calls for the dismantling of structural and systemic barriers, which he says reinforces inequality.
“Let’s not fool ourselves. The legacy of colonialism still reverberates. We see this in the economic and social injustice, the rise of hate crimes and xenophobia, the persistence of institutionalized racism and white supremacy”, the UN chief added.
The memorial lecture was organized by the Johannesburg-based Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Guterres said people were running out of patience at the glaring disparities and discrimination across societies.
He singled out the global anti-racism movement ignited by the death of George Floyd, an African-American man killed by a white policeman in May, as simply “one more sign that people have had enough”.