The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented catastrophe. It has precipitated the worst global public health crisis in more than a century, and has induced the worst worldwide economic crisis since the Great Depression. The pandemic has tested the capacity of our political systems to handle acute emergency, and of our laws and policies to protect the most vulnerable. It has upended our daily routines, strained our coping mechanisms, and exposed, in dramatic detail, the fractures and inequities embedded in our social systems.
In the fall of 2020, diplomats at the UN gathered virtually to negotiate a resolution that would close out the 2020 Peacebuilding Architecture Review (PBAR), which assessed the UN’s implementation of sustaining peace – and hence prevention – since the last review in 2016. The secretary-general released his report on the review in September 2020, highlighting the importance of prevention, and making the case for progress over the past 4 years.