In an attempt to minimise inequality, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged governments to levy a “solidarity or wealth tax” on the wealthy who profited from the COVID-19 pandemic. “We must ensure that funds are directed to where they are most needed. According to recent estimates, the world’s wealthiest people have increased by $5 trillion in the last year,” Guterres said at a UN meeting on development financing.
In September, World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley voiced a similar opinion, encouraging the private sector and the world’s “2,000 billionaires with a combined net worth of $8 trillion” to step up. Guterres has suggested that the world’s 20 wealthiest countries prolong the debt moratorium until 2022 and widen it to assist developed and middle-income countries in their recovery from the pandemic.
Guterres also demanded that COVID-19 vaccines be made available to all countries and that the COVAX vaccine sharing facility be given further funding. “Promoting a just global response and recovery from the pandemic puts multilateralism to the test. So far, we’ve failed this test. “One example is the vaccination campaign,” he said. “Only about a tenth of the world’s vaccines are administered in only ten countries.”