Tedros made the call during a special edition of this year's Munich Security Conference, which is held online due to the pandemic.
"Without global solidarity, this virus cannot be defeated," he said, adding "it spreads when we don't cooperate and when we look inwards instead of outwards and trying to help each other."
Tedros said the pandemic shows that health is central. "When health fails...it affects everything." He stressed that investments in public health and primary health care are key, which however had been under-appreciated even in some high-income countries.
Drawing attention to trade barriers and export restrictions that emerged at the start of the pandemic, the WHO chief urged that the manufacturing capacity should be strengthened both in the North and the South globally.
Tedros also called for a new global pandemic treaty "that would really help and prepare the world for the future," saying the key is working together considering the world is like a small interconnected village.