UN / GUTERRES COVID-19 SOUTHEAST ASIA

29-Jul-2020 00:02:36
On a video message for the launch of policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 in Southeast Asia, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the health, economic and political impact of the pandemic “has been significant across Southeast Asia — hitting the most vulnerable the hardest,” highlighting “deep inequalities, shortfalls in governance and the imperative for a sustainable development pathway.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / GUTERRES COVID-19 SOUTHEAST ASIA
TRT: 02:36
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 28 JULY 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Aerial shot, exterior UN Headquarters

28 JULY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“As in other parts of the world, the health, economic and political impact of COVID-19 has been significant across Southeast Asia — hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. The pandemic has highlighted deep inequalities, shortfalls in governance and the imperative for a sustainable development pathway. And it has revealed new challenges, including to peace and security. Containment measures have spared Southeast Asia the degree of suffering and upheaval seen elsewhere. Governments acted swiftly to battle the pandemic and avoid its worst effects. And regional cooperation has been robust across multiple sectors. Throughout the crisis, the United Nations has been supporting response and recovery efforts. We are providing medical supplies, supporting social protection programmes, assisting returning migrants and addressing the surge in violence against women and children. Looking ahead, four areas will be critical in the region’s plans for recovery. First, tackling inequality in income, health care and social protection – in short-term stimulus measures as well as long-term policy changes. Second, bridging the digital divide -- to ensure that people and communities are not left behind in our ever-more-connected world. Third, greening the economy -- to create the jobs of the future and to decarbonize economies still too dependent on coal and other industries of the past. Fourth, upholding human rights, protecting civic space and promoting transparency -- which are all intrinsic to an effective response. Central to these efforts is the need to advance gender equality, address upsurges in gender-based violence, and target women in all aspects of economic recovery and stimulus plans. This will mitigate the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on women and is also one of the surest avenues to sustainable, rapid, and inclusive recovery for all. The current situation is leading to recession and social tensions. Already, hate speech has increased and political processes have stalled, leaving several long-running conflicts to stagnate and fester. All governments in the subregion have supported my appeal for a global ceasefire — and I count on all countries in Southeast Asia to translate that commitment into meaningful change on the ground. The region has much work to do – but has formidable capacities at its disposal. The United Nations is strongly committed to our partnership with the countries of Southeast Asia, and we will continue to support efforts to get the region on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and build a peaceful future for all.”
STORYLINE
On a video message for the launch of policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 in Southeast Asia, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres today (28 Jul) said the health, economic and political impact of the pandemic “has been significant across Southeast Asia — hitting the most vulnerable the hardest,” highlighting “deep inequalities, shortfalls in governance and the imperative for a sustainable development pathway.”

The Secretary-General noted that containment measures “have spared Southeast Asia the degree of suffering and upheaval seen elsewhere,” and listed four areas critical to the region’s recovery.

The four areas include tackling inequality in income, health care and social protection; bridging the digital divide; greening the economy; and upholding human rights, protecting civic space and promoting transparency.

Central to these efforts, he said, “is the need to advance gender equality, address upsurges in gender-based violence, and target women in all aspects of economic recovery and stimulus plans.”

Guterres said, “the current situation is leading to recession and social tensions,” and “hate speech has increased and political processes have stalled, leaving several long-running conflicts to stagnate and fester.”

He concluded by saying, “the region has much work to do – but has formidable capacities at its disposal.”
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