With China’s presidency having ended, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is most likely to meet this week to discuss the Coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly 70,000 people worldwide and infected over 1.2 million.
Days after China demitted the rotating presidency post, 10 non-permanent members led by Dominican Republic forced the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to agree to a closed-door informal consultation on the COVID-19 pandemic this week.
It is learnt that Guterres will first address the UNSC through video conference and then announce the date for informal consultations this week. Guterres is expected to brief the member countries on the status of the pandemic and measures taken to control the killer disease.
Earlier last month, China, which has been indirectly held responsible for the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak especially by the Trump administration, had managed to obstruct a discussion on the pandemic in the UNSC with help from Russia and South Africa.
A UN diplomat had told PTI that “the silence of the Council on an issue impacting human security in such a profound manner reflects that it is obviously not fit for purpose for the challenges of our times.”
A draft proposal prepared by Estonia highlighted “growing concern about the unprecedented extent of the COVID-19 outbreak in the world, which may constitute a threat to international peace and security.”
The draft also calls for “full transparency” over the outbreak, which clearly refers to growing criticism that China is hiding vital details about origin about the virus.
China’s Mission to the UN, in its defence, had tweeted that COVID-19 “is a common enemy of all of us. China is also a victim. China has successfully contained the spreading of the pandemic and is doing its utmost in helping other countries. We will never accept stigma, discrimination or politicization on this issue.”