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UN Security Council adopts COVID-19 resolution

By HONG XIAO at the United Nations | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-07-02 08:59
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File photo: the UN headquarter in NYC. [Photo/Agencies]

The United Nations' Security Council unanimously adopted a COVID-19 resolution Wednesday that echoed the secretary-general's call for a worldwide cease-fire to facilitate measures against a pandemic that already has claimed more than a half-million lives around the world.

The resolution recognizes Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' appeal for a global ceasefire and the Global Humanitarian Response Plan; demands an immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations on the council's agenda; and calls for a pause for at least 90 consecutive days to enable delivery of humanitarian assistance and that all appropriate steps be taken to protect the safety and security of peacekeepers.

It recognizes Resolution 74/270 on COVID-19 adopted by the UN General Assembly, underscores the key coordinating role played by the UN, reaffirms the concept of putting people at the center, and calls for international cooperation and solidarity in combating the pandemic.

China voted for the draft resolution. Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN, said in his explanatory remarks that China has been supportive of the secretary-general's appeal for a global cease-fire and the Global Humanitarian Response Plan from the outset and voiced its support on various occasions.

China is one of the 172 member states and observers that issued the joint statement of support to the secretary-general's appeal for a global cease-fire.

Zhang stressed that China appreciates that the resolution refers to General Assembly Resolution 74/270, showing member states' full recognition of the central role played by the UN and the World Health Organization in the global fight against COVID-19, which he said represents the unanimous call of the international community.

Zhang said China welcomes the concept of putting people at the center of the resolution, which is "conducive to addressing root causes of conflicts" and is "highly significant as it reflects the demands and concerns of developing countries", he said.

Zhang reiterated that COVID-19 is a common enemy of mankind.

"All countries should follow a people-centered approach, always put lives and health of the people first, and do the utmost to save lives. It is imperative to adopt a responsible attitude and resolute measures to fight the pandemic, follow science, and reject politicizing, labeling and stigmatizing," he said.

"Countries should engage in international cooperation to fight against COVID-19, in particular to assist developing countries," he added.

Zhang said China has consistently given top priority to people and their lives and adopted the most comprehensive, thorough and stringent measures, which have helped to bring the outbreak under control at the lowest possible cost.

China has provided support to more than 150 countries and international organizations, including all those on the agenda of the Security Council.

Zhang stressed that the council's adoption of the resolution demonstrates that multilateralism is the "only right choice for a world faced with multiple challenges, while unilateralism has no support and will only come to a dead end".

"At this critical juncture, China firmly takes the side of multilateralism, the vast majority of member states, and fairness and justice," he said.

On March 23, Secretary-General Guterres appealed for a global cease-fire.

The council attaches great importance to this appeal and is engaged in intensive consultations on the impact of COVID-19 on international peace and security and supporting the appeal for a global cease-fire, Zhang said. The vast majority of council members support early adoption of a resolution.

"Regrettably, the council's action has been seriously delayed by the US' unilateral stance and deliberate creation of obstacles," Zhang said, adding that the council's eventual adoption of the resolution is the result of constructive consultations and consensus-building by China and most of the council members.

"It (the resolution) reflects the responsible attitude of the international community of fighting the pandemic in solidarity and cooperation, and demonstrates the firm resolve of the majority of UN membership in upholding multilateralism," he said.

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