United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged members of the Security Council to return collectively to battle the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, marking the primary time the divided 15-nation physique mentioned the pandemic.
“The engagement of the Security Council will be critical to mitigate the peace and security implications of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Guterres informed council members in a closed-door video convention on Thursday.
“A signal of unity and resolve from the Council would count for a lot at this anxious time,” he mentioned in a textual content launched by his workplace.
The Security Council has been unable to provide you with a united response to the pandemic in latest weeks primarily as a result of Chinese-U.S. tensions. President Donald Trump initially insisted on calling the illness the “Chinese virus” as a result of it first broke out within the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan.
Guterres mentioned that the council’s capacity to work collectively to battle earlier main well being crises, reminiscent of Ebola and HIV, was essential in marshaling an efficient worldwide response.
While many of the council’s members wish to act in unity, two competing texts in latest weeks have failed to maneuver ahead. Diplomats identified a extra constructive tone in latest discussions.
The 193-member UN General Assembly final week adopted the primary decision on Coronavirus, calling for worldwide cooperation and dedication to assist weaker teams, although its texts aren’t binding.
The Security Council has the authority to step in when it considers a disaster a risk to worldwide peace and safety, because it did with Ebola in 2014. The Chinese, who presided over the council in March, have been initially reticent to comply with a gathering, arguing that the problem is a public well being concern.
But it’s grow to be more and more clear that the outbreak, which has to this point contaminated greater than 1.5 million individuals worldwide, will wreak havoc far past the rapid health-care toll.
In his speech, Guterres outlined 9 areas of concern to worldwide safety tied to the virus, from eroding public belief in establishments to the financial fallout to threats of postponed elections to the chance that some conflicts can be exacerbated.
On a extra optimistic be aware, Guterres mentioned his name for a world cease-fire has been heeded in some corners. Saudi Arabia just lately introduced a unilateral cease-fire in Yemen.