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Have the UN and WHO Managed to Fight against COVID-19 Pandemic? by Selenay TÜFEKÇİOĞLU

A virus called Covid19 caused the death of people was first seen in China and then spread all over the world. This virus, which caused 162,032 deaths today, forced people to live a life in homes in quarantine and forced them to live a different life than the people has used to (Organization, 18 April 2020). The reason this virus turns into a crisis is that it restricts every area of our lives and, uncertainty and unpredictability about our future.

During this crisis, all the people in the world divided into two extreme poles. While half of them think that world order has changed, nothing will be the same anymore, even we overcome this crisis we will have a new world order. The other half think that this situation is temporary and everything will be the same as before crises after we come through the crisis. Despite this sharp division the only point that everyone has reached a consensus, is the correct execution of this process (Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How., 2020). Both possibilities which starting to live in a new world order with nothing as before, and returning to our lives which everything is as before is completely based on whether the process is well managed. So if we want to turn back to our previous lives, it’s pretty important that how we manage this process. Basically, it is all about whether the process is well managed or not.

The first question which comes to mind is ‘Is this process is managed well?’ and the second question which immediately follows the first one is ‘if a crisis occurs, who is expected to manage?’. Although many institutions and organizations come to mind according to these questions, the United Nations is a collective organization that stands out with the particular of being responsible for providing peace and security in the international area. So, at this point, does the UN do its part? The purpose of its establishment is to ensure peace and security in the international environment, to prevent the chaos environment, does this organization take responsibility for this crisis, in this worldwide chaos environment? Or is it inadequate to do that? Within the framework of these questions, trust in the organization, especially the UN, has decreased. Therefore, criticism that does not serve its purpose is raising.

There is a stable functioning mechanism among states, their citizens, institutions, and market actors. A state provides its legitimacy with the services it provides to its’ citizens, such as education and health, but as a result of the current crisis, as known many citizens are deprived of health services. In addition, the state’s health infrastructures were caught unprepared and failed. Therefore, it is obvious that this COVID 19 crisis has started to cause an economic crisis too (COVID-19.UN considers East Timorese criticism of WHO support ”irresponsible”, 2020). So it is very likely to see that commercial relations between states will damage. As a result of all these troubles, it is inevitable to see unemployment. States are unable to respond to people’s needs. In such a situation, expected from international organizations and institutions come into play and find a solution. Thus, these institutions, which are expected to take responsibility during the times of crisis, where it is impossible to talk more about the peace and human security provided in the welfare environment, should make an effort to maintain the old order (Evans, 2012).

People have the expectation of ensuring peace and security environment and preventing polarization, from organizations that have the ability to influence other actors in the international arena. If international organizations are late to take action or inadequate to do that, trust in the institutions is questioned or criticized. On the Security Council, which has been silent since the start of the pandemic, the five permanent members (the US, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, and France) are divided on reaching a resolution to support Guterres’ appeal (UN issues its first coronavirus resolution as global cases surpass 1 million, 2020). This silence of the united nations is considered to be evidence of being late.

If this delay cannot be prevented and trust cannot be established against the international institutions, we will be confronted by the fact that internal conflicts increase especially in countries with class and social division, and the increase in the number of mass protests in different regions around the world. As a result, the process of managing the crisis will be more successful if the united nations take an active role in managing this crisis better if it takes more effective steps. This crisis can be overcome by developing policies with all states working in solidarity with the UN.


  • Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How. (2020, March 19). April 20, 2020 tarihinde Politico:
  • Covid-19.UN considers East Timorese criticism of WHO support ”irresponsible”. (2020, March 25). April 20, 2020 tarihinde Jornal Economico:
  • UN issues its first coronavirus resolution as global cases surpass 1 million . (2020, April 3). April 20, 2020 tarihinde France24:
  • Evans, G. (2012, May 17). The International Crisis Group: The Role of a Global NGO in Preventing and Resolving Deadly Conflict. April 20, 2020 tarihinde İnternational Crisis Group :
  • Organization, W. H. (18 April 2020). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVİD-19). WHO Department of Communications.



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