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UN chief says important to fight misguide on coronavirus, populist approach

MOSCOW (AFP): Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres stressed the importance of spreading science-backed information on the coronavirus and countering disinformation during his address to the German parliament on Friday. “We must also fight the virus of misinformation. Across the globe, we have seen how populist approaches that ignore science have misled the public. Coupled with false news and wild conspiracies, things have become manifestly worse,” Guterres said.
In contrast to these tactics, the UU has “provided news and advice people can trust while working to build vaccine confidence guided by science, grounded in facts,” Guterres added. The UN chief praised Germany’s role in countering the coronavirus itself and its support for the UN call for global ceasefire amid the pandemic. “Germany’s support has been critical to the Access to COVID-19 Tools-Accelerator and its COVAX facility to develop and equitably distribute vaccines, diagnostics and treatments,” Guterres said. Guterres commended Chancellor Angela Merkel specifically for her leadership at the time of the pandemic. “Studies show that women’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic led to more evidence-based, sustainable, inclusive and effective results. Germany proves it,” the secretary-general said. Guterres pointed to Germany’s active involvement in the climate change issues as well. The UN chief listed its achievements on several fronts, such as the program to phase out coal, working to make a transition to renewable energy, undertaking a legal commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “We need others to follow your example and help build a Global Coalition for Carbon Neutrality. All countries – and in particular all major economies – must come forward with plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050,” Guterres said. The UN chief has remarked on Germans’ wide embrace of global cooperation and concluded with a reference to Beethoven’s “Global Ode to Joy”.

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