UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations chief says the world’s failure to unite to tackle COVID-19 has created massive inequalities and is calling for urgent action including a wealth tax on those who profited from the pandemic to help finance the global recovery from the coronavirus.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a high-level U.N. meeting on Monday that latest reports indicate “there has been a $5 trillion surge in the wealth of the world’s richest in the past year” of the pandemic. He urged governments “to consider a solidarity or wealth tax on those who have profited during the pandemic, to reduce extreme inequalities.”
Guterres also told the U.N. Economic and Social Council’s Forum on Financing for Development that “no element of our multilateral response has gone as it should.”
He pointed to more than 3 million deaths, increasing infections, the worst recession in 90 years, some 120 million people falling back into extreme poverty, and the equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs lost.
Guterres said the inequality in vaccinations is just one example of the failure of multilateralism.