International

France, Tunisia urge UN Security Council to adopt Covid-19 resolution

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France and Tunisia urged the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to adopt a resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in major conflicts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic after weeks of contentious negotiations that have paralyzed the United Nations most powerful body.

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France, one of five veto-wielding permanent council members, and Tunisia, one of 10 elected members, melded their rival resolutions in hopes of winning approval for the first council resolution since COVID-19 started circling the globe. But diplomats say a vote has been held up primarily over a dispute between the United States and China on including a reference to the World Health Organization.

President Donald Trump suspended funding to WHO in early April, accusing the U.N. health agency of failing to stop the virus from spreading when it first surfaced in China, saying it “must be held accountable, and accusing WHO of parroting Beijing.

China strongly supports WHO and is insisting that its role in calling for global action on COVID-19 be included in any resolution, diplomats say, while the U.S. insists on a reference to “transparency” on COVID-19 and no mention of the WHO.

Ambassadors from the 15 council nations met privately Tuesday on the French-Tunisian draft resolution and Frances U.N. Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere said later it was “a good discussion.”

“France and Tunisia are working hard on it, things are moving forward,” he said. “The Security Council must act now.”

Tunisias U.N. Ambassador Kais Kabtani told several journalists that the two countries are working “very hard to present a final package deal” and are relying “on the spirit of compromise from the council members.”

At the meeting, he said, “Tunisia highlighted the urgency of concluding the ongoing consultations process on the draft resolution on COVID-19 in the next few days”

“Its a moment of truth for the United Nations and the multilateral system which faces the most difficult crisis the U.N. has been confronted with since World War II," Kabtani said.

The 193-member U.N. General Assembly approved two resolutions on COVID-19 in April.

One recognizes “the unprecedented effects” of the pandemic and calls for “intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat” the new coronavirus. The other urges global action to rapidRead More – Source