UN chief warns that Covid-19 threatens world peace and security

UNITED NATIONS: Secretary General Antonio Guterres He warned the UN Security Council on Thursday that the pandemic is threatening international peace and security, potentially leading to an increase in social unrest and violence that would greatly undermine our ability to fight the disease.

The most powerful UN body, which has been silent since it began circling the world, making sick and killed tens of thousands, issued its first brief press release after the closed meeting. He expressed `` support for all the efforts of the Secretary General regarding the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in countries affected by conflict and recalled the need for unity and solidarity with all those affected. ''

Guterres, who called for a ceasefire for all global conflicts on March 23, said the crisis has `` hampered efforts to resolve international, regional and national conflicts, exactly when they are most needed. ''

He cited other pressing global security risks from the pandemic: terrorists who see an opportunity to attack, groups who see how a biological terrorist attack could unfold, the erosion of confidence in public institutions, economic instability, political tensions to postpone elections or referendums, the uncertainty that generates greater division and turmoil in some countries, and COVID-19 `` triggering or exacerbating various human rights challenges. ''

The secretary-general reiterated that the United Nations faces `` its gravest test '' since the organization was founded 75 years ago after the pandemic and concluded by saying: `` This is the fight of a generation _ and the reason for being of (the reason for) the United Nations itself. ''

Guterres spoke via video conference at a closed council meeting on the impact of COVID-19 on the council's mandate, which is the preservation of international peace and security. It was the first discussion of its 15 ambassadors about the pandemic. As the meeting closed, the UN spokesman released Guterres's information and several ambassadors issued their comments to the media.

The UN chief said the Security Council's commitment will be `` critical in mitigating the peace and security implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. '' He added that `` a sign of unity and resolution of the Council would count a lot at this moment of anxiety. ''

Diplomats said the Security Council was initially blocked from issuing a statement or adopting a resolution at the insistence of the United States that the origin of the virus be included in China or Wuhan, which China opposed, but the Belgian ambassador to The UN, Marc Pecsteen of Buytswerve, an elected council member, said he was not mentioned Thursday. He and the other nine elected council members had been pushing for a meeting and managed to get the secretary-general to report Thursday.

According to diplomats, French President Emmanuel Macron and United States President Donald Trump agreed to organize a video conference of the leaders of the five permanent members of the council, which also includes China, Russia and Britain, and France wanted that. before a council meeting, but could not agree. Meanwhile, the 10 elected members had been pushing for a council meeting and a briefing by Guterres and had the necessary nine votes to make it happen on Thursday.

Buytswerve's Pecsteen said that while the council's press statement was very minimal, it is an expression of support for the secretary-general and his call for peace and the ceasefire, and that is the most important thing at this stage. ''