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COVID-19 Challenges Update 9
June 10, 2020. New York. – COVID-19 continues to present a global challenge for citizens, governments, healthcare professionals, scientists, corporations, and the media.
While the disease creates new challenges, it also highlights long-standing ones in terms of policy, communication, and societal awareness of key issues and how the media reports on these issues.
Ursula von der Leyen is the new counterpart for the African, US, and Chinese presidents. She has been in office since 12/2019 with a promise to develop new, direct communication to those she represents (500 million citizens from Portugal to Finland), but questions are being raised as to whether her main goal (convincing Remainers of the value Brussels and Strasbourg provide to the 27 member states) can be achieved. The new president and her fellow commissioners have followed the path of their predecessors in thinking a difference can be made by talking to those already convinced (e.g., the Brussels community). Even with COVID-19 creating additional awareness related to health and finance, visibility for EU commissioners remains low. People know the names of virologists, but often not the name of the EU commissioner with the SDG3 portfolio.
Meanwhile, the Black Lives Matter protest movement has demonstrated that people around the world are willing to risk their health to secure human rights. Whether the protests will have a significant impact on the spread of COVID-19 will be known in a few weeks.
Some are hoping the end of the coronavirus crisis is in sight as Astra-Zeneca prepares to produce 3 billion vaccines, including one for low and middle income countries, by Sep/Oct 2020
Large scale societal changes from the COVID-19 crisis are likely and there is a desperate need to improve health literacy. Luckily, an overall frame for dealing with these challenges and treating all lives as dignified and valuable already exists and has been accepted by 193 heads of state in the form of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals with their 169 clear targets.
To see our complete findings this week on COVID-19, please visit https://www.ungsii.org/sdg-cities and click to and select your language.
These findings are produced in partnership with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the African Union, the Universities Network, UN Academic Impact, and diverse faith communities as we need better data and reporting on solutions for tackling the pandemic.
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