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The Role of UN and its Agencies in Controlling Pandemic

One of the UN agency named World Health Organisation (WHO) on 31st December 2019 had informed that there was widespread pneumonia with an unknown cause that was detected in the Wuhan city of China (Novel coronavirus). Then on 7th January 2020, the Chinese authorities had confirmed that it was a new virus named coronavirus. On 11th March 2020 WHO had declared the outbreak of coronavirus a global pandemic. In response to this, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had launched the Covid-19 global humanitarian response plan.

During this spread of coronavirus across the continents, the UN is working day and night to prevent the spread of coronavirus which is causing havoc within the population which has already been facing a humanitarian crisis.

There are 5 very important reasons for which the world needs WHO for fighting Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Helping countries to prepare and respond: WHO ensures that the patients are getting proper care and all essential supplies are provided to medical staff and other civic workers. it also helps in accelerating the work for developing the vaccine.

  • Providing accurate information to avoid any myths and speculations from spreading: WHO provides technical advice to the public, health workers based on the queries, and it even helps in removing all the myths present in the minds of the people. It even keeps a check that the information delivered is correct or not.

  • Ensuring supplies for each worker: WHO keeps in check that there are personal protective pieces of equipment that will help in making sure that the health workers can save the lives of the patients ensuring their safety too.

  • Training and mobilization of the health workers: WHO's global outbreak alert and response network (GOARN) is providing required training to health workers to fight the pandemic.

  • Search for vaccine: WHO has bought about 400 worlds’ most efficient researchers for the search of the vaccine. It has involved about 90 countries for helping in finding an effective treatment and drug that can help in slowing down the disease.

The UN system 2020 report of financing for sustainable development contained various measures that can help in getting information about the various impacts of unfolding global recession and the financial turmoil which is affecting the whole world right now.

A legal framework has been formed in various areas internationally for controlling infectious diseases. The allocating responsibility is mentioned under the law of responsibility which states that any state which violates the international law will have the responsibility of making the reparation for the injury caused by their wrong actions.

The main purpose of this is to protect the citizens from the international spread of any disease. It even protects the rights of a person which includes the right of every citizen to enjoy the highest standard of physical and mental health. Human rights law has also been introduced to prevent, treat, and control the epidemic disease.


  1. Beaumont, P., The Guardian, Global Development: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/apr/20/un-heads-warn-of-coronavirus-risk-in-weakest-countries

  2. Dag Hammarskjold Library http://ask.un.org/faq/281723

  3. Gladstone, R. The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/world/americas/coronavirus-united-nations-guterres.html

  4. Sirleaf, M., Jurist Organisation, legal news and research: https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2020/03/matiangai-sirleaf-responsibility-for-pandemics/

  5. The Business Line, The UN Role in times of coronavirus: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/the-uns-role-in-times-of-coronavirus/article31216051.ece

  6. The Hindustan Business Line https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/the-uns-role-in-times-of-coronavirus/article31216051.ece

  7. UN NEWS https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/04/1061412

  8. United Nation Sustainable Development Goals: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2020/04/ffdr2020/

  9. United Nation development program (2020). https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/coronavirus.html


Nishtha Kheria is currently studying law from Amity School, Noida.

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Edited By: Swati Tolambia

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