On 26 June 1945, world leaders gathered in San Francisco to sign the Charter of the United Nations, bringing into operation a new system of international collaboration and governance.

75 years later, the UN will commemorate the Charter’s anniversary in the context of the global COVID-19 Pandemic. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has taken the occasion of the anniversary to release the UN’s report of the pandemic to date and the roadmap for the world to recover better –

In an interview with The New York Times in the lead up to the anniversary, SG Guterres said that the UN today provides a much-needed “platform where everybody can come together”, citing a recent online meeting of governments, companies, scientists and civil society to discuss how to ensure cyberspace and the digital world are tools for good rather than threats.

But he conceded that the pandemic has shown the limitations of the organisation not having the capacity to guarantee international cooperation. “For example, he said, the World Health Organization has very little power to get countries to do what it thinks best for tackling COVID-19 or to make countries cooperate in trying to end the pandemic.”