“Access to Health a global fight for life and justice.”

 

For the past year, humankind has been faced with an unprecedented threat. As the novel coronavirus spreads globally, citizens’ health is gravely endangered. Due to the high infectiousness of the virus, governments have adopted containment measures limiting people’s movements in ways unimaginable before, gravely jeopardizing economic activities. As a result, lockdown measures have aggravated unemployment, poverty, marginalization and violence. As states struggle to protect their citizens from COVID-19, other dimensions of citizens’ health – both physical and mental – deteriorate.

Albeit global, this crisis does not impact everyone in the same way. The poor, the marginalized, the vulnerable are disproportionately affected. Worldwide, elites from rich countries are pretty confident to overcome the pandemic while still alive and wealthy. Some of them, even wealthier.

On the other hand, less fortunate men and women face the threat of their lifetimes – masses from poor countries even more so. They fear succumbing to the pandemic first, and to the ensuing economic recession later.

The novel coronavirus is shedding light on ever-valid truths: that access to health is unequal between and across societies. That it is a prerequisite to the enjoyment of other fundamental human rights, as well as a precondition for economic prosperity. That health – as much as the economy – is globally interdependent and integrated. We see now that there is no security, no development, no justice without access to health, for all.

This global upheaval requires new strategies and renewed cooperation. Even more importantly, it forces us to rethink the organization of our societies, beyond the coronavirus itself. It presents us with the opportunity – some might say the last opportunity – to fix our political priorities, and act accordingly. Failure to do so will produce more deaths, more inequality, and more oppression.

In the words of the UN Secretary-General, “a pandemic drives home the essential interconnectedness of our human family. No country can do it alone. More than ever, governments must cooperate to revitalize economies and ensure targeted support for the people and communities most affected by the disease or the negative economic impacts. We are in this together – and we will get through this, together.”

 

MUN Albania 2021 will gather young change-makers to discuss “Access to health: a global fight for life and justice”, devising new ways to ensure safety, welfare and equal opportunities to all.

 

There will come a time after the pandemic. We want to be ready.