The United Nations Security Council held a meeting today to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic for the first time.
Naija News learnt that nine of the council’s 10 non-permanent members requested the closed-door meeting — a video conference to maintain social distancing.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected to focus on efforts to fight the pandemic, peacekeeping missions and fostering unity between the non-permanent members and the five permanent ones.
There are two competing texts up for debate.
One, spearheaded by Tunisia on behalf of the 10 non-permanent members and obtained by AFP, calls for “an urgent, coordinated and united international action to curb the impact of COVID-19” and urges an immediate global ceasefire on humanitarian grounds.
That draft resolution has been in development since March 30, though a vote on it is not yet scheduled.
The second text, proposed by France, focuses on Guterres’s call last month to cease all hostilities around the world as part of a “humanitarian pause” to fight the pandemic.
That one has so far only had input from the permanent members, which diplomats from non-permanent countries told AFP has been “very frustrating.”
Efforts to convene a meeting have been stymied by the hospitalization of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chinese reticence to participate without first setting a clear agenda.