Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will cohost a major United Nations conference Thusday aimed at developing a co-ordinated global response to mitigate the devastating social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unless countries come together now to co-ordinate a recovery plan, the UN estimates the pandemic could slash nearly $8.5 trillion US from the world economy over the next two years, forcing 34.3 million people into extreme poverty this year and potentially 130 million more over the course of the decade.
Trudeau is cohosting the four-hour virtual conference with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness. You can watch it here.
More than 50 heads of state and government are to participate, including Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron, along with representatives of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the private sector.
It was not certain late Wednesday, however, whether U.S. President Donald Trump, who has argued that wise leaders put the interests of their own countries first, would take part.
In a release about the event, the UN says all countries face economic strain because of the pandemic, particularly developing countries that were already in “debt distress” before the crisis and can’t afford to cushion the blow for their citizens or to undertake fiscal stimulus measures.
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