Coronavirus: UN calls special General Assembly session on pandemic

FILE PHOTO: The United Nations headquarters is seen from the North sculpture garden.
FILE PHOTO: The United Nations headquarters is seen from the North sculpture garden.

United Nations, United States - The 193 UN member nations have adopted four resolutions on the pandemic so far this year.



By AFP

Published: Thu 5 Nov 2020, 10:04 PM

The UN General Assembly moved Thursday to hold a special session focused on international coordination in response to the coronavirus pandemic from December 3-4 in New York.

Discussed since June, the meeting is intended to bring together heads of state and government according to a resolution adopted by 150 of the 193 General Assembly members.

No country voted against the measure, while the US, Israel and Armenia abstained.

Leaders will be able to submit five-minute pre-recorded statements to be broadcast in the General Assembly Hall.

The clips will be played after short introductions from representatives physically present in the room, according to the resolution -- a format similar to that of the annual General Assembly meeting in September.

In-person appearances by world leaders are unlikely, given New York state's required 14-day quarantine period for international visitors.

The United States has already indicated it is opposed to an expanded role for the World Health Organization in fighting the pandemic, a stance facing major Russia pushback.

Germany, meanwhile, criticised the resolution as too vague, while Britain called for representation from non-governmental organizations and other civil society groups.

The 193 UN member nations have adopted four resolutions on the pandemic so far this year -- on global solidarity, global access to medications and vaccines, coordination of global action, and a united response to worldwide health threats.

The Security Council on the other hand, which has had to navigate Chinese-American tensions over the virus, has only adopted one resolution on the pandemic, calling for the cessation of global conflicts in the interest of fighting Covid-19. 


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