Push for UN Security Council meeting on pandemic
UNITED NATIONS, United States, April 3, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Nine UN Security Council members led by Germany on Thursday requested a council meeting with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, diplomats said.
The Security Council has not met on the issue since the explosive global spread of the disease in February, nor has it adopted any resolutions on the subject despite attempts to do so.
A Tunisian draft resolution that supports the idea of a global ceasefire is on the table, and the council’s five permanent members — the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain — have been debating a similar French draft among themselves, so far without agreement.
The nine requesting the council meeting are non-permanent members.
They have grown impatient with recurring divisions between the United States and China that have impeded action, and with Beijing’s resistance to tackling an issue that it does not view as a threat to world peace and security.
The nine are Germany, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, Indonesia, Niger, Vietnam, Tunisia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Belgium, according to diplomats.
South Africa, also a non-permanent member, did not join the group seeking the meeting.
At least nine votes are needed to overcome any procedural attempt by other council members to block the meeting.
A diplomat said the request was for a closed door video teleconference, not for an emergency session. The date of the meeting would depend on Guterres’ schedule.