UN mobilizes global cooperation in science-based COVID-19 responses

The United Nations is mobilizing international cooperation to harness the power of science to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, while also working with partners to explore innovative crisis responses tools. The COVID-19 pandemic raises our awareness of the importance of science, both in research and international cooperation – UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay

Less than 100 days since the World Health Organization (WHO) was notified about the new coronavirus, research has accelerated at incredible speed. “I am glad to report that our research and development efforts are moving quickly,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a recent briefing. He shared that the Solidarity Trial – a WHO initiative that assesses potential treatments for COVID-19 – has already led to 74 countries joining or expressing interest to taking part in the trial.

More than 200 patients have already been randomly assigned to one of the studies, he said.  While randomized clinical trials normally take years to design and conduct, the Solidarity Trial will reduce the time taken by 80%, according to WHO.

The viral genome was mapped in early January and shared globally, which enabled tests to be developed and vaccine research to start. And about 20 institutions and companies are racing to develop a vaccine.

WHO is gathering the latest scientific findings and knowledge on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and compiling it in a database, after bringing together 300 scientists, researchers, national public health experts across the world to assess the current level of knowledge about the new virus and identify research priorities and gaps.

WHO is committed to ensuring that as medicines and vaccines are developed, they are shared equitably with all countries and people.


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Department of Global Communications

The United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC) promotes global awareness and understanding of the work of the United Nations.