After weeks of disagreement — especially between the United States and China — the UN Security Council will meet Thursday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic for the first time.
Led by Germany, nine of the council’s 10 non-permanent members requested the closed-door meeting — a video conference to maintain social distancing — last week, fed up with the body’s inaction over the unprecedented global crisis.
Talks are moving in the right direction, diplomats said, and Washington is no longer insisting UN language refer to the virus as coming from China, which had infuriated Beijing.
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.