The October 2023 edition of the IRMO Brief, authored by Jadranka Polović, deals with the emergence of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 and the subsequent pandemic declared by the WHO in March 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed enormous health, economic, environmental and social challenges throughout the world, and has introduced a decrease in mobility, changes in the education system and an alarming increase in social inequalities and vulnerabilities. COVID-19 has also globalised poverty and undermined the notion of global progress. The online learning model introduced after the outbreak of the pandemic, had already included nearly 1.6 billion students in 165 countries by September 2020. The author also analyses how will the Political Declaration of the UN General Assembly on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response, released in September 2023, be able to introduce measures needed to stay ahead of disease outbreaks emerging in the future.