The UN’s unexecuted role in the pandemic

(Parma Abbas, )

 “In 2014, when I was in grade nine, I started participating in Model United Nations which is a type of debating competition wherein students act as nation states and represent the opinion of countries within the United Nations and discuss whatever topic is on the agenda. Resolutions are drafted and debated upon until a solution which is agreed upon by all is reached. Once I started participating in Model UN’s, I found it hard to stop and participated in regional and international Model UN’s in Qatar and America. During this time I had the opportunity to represent multiple countries at prestigious Model UN’s and be a part of a variety of committees and the sum of this experience resulted in me learning a lot about diplomacy, policy making and politics. From all my time spent conducting research and participating in Model UN’s, what I have understood about the UN is that it is an organization that exists to be able to give a platform to nations to discuss the issues that they have with one another so that the issues do not escalate. The UN also discusses natural disasters and sends aid to developing nations if they cannot cope with the degree of disaster afflicted upon them. Considering the current situation, I believe it is imperative that all nation states stop the manufacturing of arms and ammunition and instead allocate their military spending and defense budget on life saving equipment. The situation that we are currently facing is unprecedented and no country would attack another at this point of time. If something like this happens the UN can once again step in and handle matters as need be but right now, there are more pressing issues at hand and lives being lost. Covid 19 forces us to realize that health and right to life is the main issue in the world right now. In the recent past, the world has been struck by a pandemic every 100 years and what is most shocking is that they all follow a similar pattern, according to researchers. In 1720, there was the plague; In 1820, there was the cholera outbreak; In 1920, there was the Spanish Flu; and, now in 2020, we have Covid-19. The bubonic plague pandemic of 1720 is often referred to as “The Great Plague of Marseille” since it started in Marseille and claimed approximately 100’000 lives. Next, the first cholera outbreak occurred in 1820 in Asia and killed approximately the same amount of people as The Great Plague of Marseille did. Most recently, in 1920, the Spanish flu affected half a billion people and claimed 100 million lives and for this reason it still holds the official record for the deadliest pandemic that humanity faced in all of history. Now, in 2020, we are once again facing a pandemic: Corona Virus. The first recorded case occurred in November and can be traced back to China and since that day 40’000 lives have been lost. If we do not wish for the numbers to match that of the unrelenting Spanish flu then the UN should focus on rearranging its priorities. At this point of time almost each nation is undergoing the same predicament and facing this pandemic so it is time to formulate a plan of action against this threat to humanity. We need to think about those people suffering from this disease. We need to think about those families who survive on the basis of daily wages. We need to think about every single individual without any discrimination. If we collectively try to fight Covid 19, we can surely overcome it. The whole world is now one entity and we must collectively fight this disease. The UN, as an organization which connects all nation states across the globe, should play an important role in figuring out how to overcome this pandemic so that we can come out of it together.” Authors Name: Parma Abbas

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