kimoon26_Iranian Presidency  HandoutAnadolu Agency via Getty Images_unga 75 Iranian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Returning to Multilateralism

For 75 years, the United Nations has provided an imperfect but unrivaled global forum for advancing peace, prosperity, and human rights, standing as a bulwark against another world war. But the COVID-19 pandemic presents the world's premier multilateral body with its biggest challenge yet.

NEW YORK – COVID-19 has shone a light on the acute vulnerabilities of a deeply interconnected world. No country, regardless of its size, wealth, or technological sophistication, can tackle this crisis alone.

Owing to the pandemic, the United Nations General Assembly this month is being held under exceptional circumstances, with heads of state participating “virtually” rather than traveling to New York City. The unique nature of this year’s gathering should serve as a reminder that the only way to overcome the threat of COVID-19 is through international cooperation, transparency, and adherence to shared rules and regulations.

It is a poignant irony that the pandemic has struck on the UN’s 75th anniversary. Born from the wreckage of World War II – a wholly human-made calamity – the world’s premier international forum embodied post-war leaders’ determination that future generations must be spared from the kind of suffering they had witnessed.