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UN Security Council Adopts Resolution on COVID-19

2020-07-01 03:09

On I July, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on COVID-19 with 15 votes in favor. China voted for the draft resolution. Ambassador Zhang Jun made remarks in explanation of the vote.

The resolution recognizes Secretary-general António 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 all appropriate steps to protect the safety and security of peacekeepers. It recognizes the resolution 74/270 on COVID-19 adopted by the UN General Assembly, underscores the key coordinating role played by the UN, reaffirms the important concept of putting the people at the center, and calls for international cooperation and solidarity in combating the pandemic.

In his remarks, Ambassador Zhang Jun said that at this critical moment of global fight against COVID-19, the Security Council is duty-bound to take action within its mandates to tackle the negative impact of COVID-19 on international peace and security. Reaching this resolution demonstrates the general consensus of Council members and UN member states in supporting bigger roles of the UN and its specialized agencies and strengthened solidarity and cooperation in the fight against COVID-19. This shows the Councils ability to act and its leadership and represents an important outcome for the Council and the UN and a victory of multilateralism.

Ambassador Zhang Jun said that this resolution has not come easily. Some country has insisted on a unilateral stance, ignoring the call of the international community. The country went back on its words and broke its promise and the consensus, delaying the process of consultation again and again. The Council was thus hampered from taking action to support the Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire and the Global Humanitarian Response Plan. This country has also refused to lift unilateral coercive measures against relevant countries, turning a blind eye to the call of the Secretary-General and countries around the world. This has worsened the suffering of innocent civilians and the humanitarian crisis in some countries and regions amid COVID-19.

Ambassador Zhang Jun emphasized that from the very beginning, China has been supportive of the Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire and the Global Humanitarian Response Plan, and voiced its support on various occasions. Most recently, 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 ceasefire. China has been constructively engaged in the consultations of the current resolution, worked tirelessly with most of the Council members to build widest possible consensus, and showed maximum flexibility. As a result, the Council has managed to overcome all obstacles and send a positive message of solidarity and cooperation at this difficult time.

Ambassador Zhang Jun said, China appreciates that the resolution refers to GA resolution 74/270, showing member states’ full recognition of the central role played by the UN and the WHO in the global fight against COVID-19 which represents the unanimous call of the international community. China welcomes the concept of putting the people at the center included in 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. China calls on the international community to seize the opportunity of the adoption of the resolution to encourage parties to conflict to respond to the Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire, immediately cease hostilities, work together to combat COVID-19, save lives, commit to resolve disputes peacefully through political and diplomatic means, ensure delivery of humanitarian assistance and strengthen safety and security of peacekeepers.

Ambassador Zhang Jun pointed out 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. Countries should engage in international cooperation to fight against COVID-19, in particular to assist developing countries. 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 with the lowest possible cost. Meanwhile, China is working for recovery and conducting international cooperation. China has provided support to more than 150 countries and international organizations, including all those on the agenda of the Security Council.

Ambassador Zhang Jun stressed that the Council’s adoption of the resolution once again proves 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. China calls upon all countries to envisage a global community with a shared future, advance multilateralism, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the UN-centered international system to jointly create a better future for mankind.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Security Council’s attitude and action have received wide attention. On 23 March, Secretary-General Guterres made the appeal for a global ceasefire. The Security 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 global ceasefire. The vast majority of the 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. 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 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.

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