Crisis often helps to lift the fog of bureaucratic process and shows institutions in their true light. That has been the case with the World Health Organization, the leading arm of the United Nations to fight a global pandemic. The Covid-19 crisis has exposed the weakness not just of the WHO but other institutions. At first glance, the United Nations along with its World Health Organization takes the lead on Covid-19. Regionally, in Europe, that role falls to the European Union and, nationally, to state governments.
The pandemic should be a straightforward apolitical challenge. Far from exacerbating antagonism within and between governments, the crisis should encourage unity. But the United Nations has allowed itself to become embroiled in superpower rivalry. The European Union has failed to come up with a cohesive regional strategy and, in many countries, questions on how to handle the pandemic have caused divisions. […]