The United Nations Security Council is calling for the immediate cessation of hostilities in conflict zones.
- UNSC (United Nations Security Council) – organisation of 15 nations whose purpose is to maintain international peace.
Following the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, the Council has unanimously voted for an immediate ceasefire of all current and ongoing conflicts. The purpose of this two-paged resolution—resolution 2532 (2020)—is to enable the unhindered delivery of lifesaving aid, humanitarian assistance, and medical evacuations in the fight against COVID-19. The UNSC has asked for all parties of the conflicts to engage in the pause for at least 90 days. These conflicts include the Syrian Civil War, the Yemeni Civil War, and the Libyan Civil War among others. However, the cessation does not apply to military operations against UN designated terrorist groups including the Da’esh, the Al Qaeda, and the Al Nusra Front. The resolution was introduced by France and Tunisia.
Due to a disagreement between the United States and China over a reference to the UN’s World Health Organisation, the UNSC had struggled for months to pass a resolution. The United States had pushed for the resolution to speak of “transparency” and that there be no reference to the World Health Organisation while China wanted the World Health Organisation to be mentioned explicitly. Resolution 2532 (2020) had compromised and references neither transparency nor the World Health Organisation. The UNSC has struggled to make significant decisions to fight against COVID-19 due, in part, to the tense relationship between the United States and China as well as the relationship between the United States and Russia.
Unlike resolutions and decisions passed in the UN General Assembly, which are formal expressions of opinion, the resolutions passed in the UNSC are legally binding and, as has happened in the past, the UNSC can impose sanctions or authorise the use of military force. Resolution 2532 (2020) requests the 13 current peacekeeping missions to support their host country’s efforts to contain COVID-19 which includes operations in Pakistan, Israel, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo—some of the countries hit the hardest by COVID-19.
The United Nations Security Council features 15 member nations: five permanent members (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States) and ten non-permanent members (Belgium, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Germany, Indonesia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Tunisia, Vietn Nam) who are elected for two-year terms. Its purpose is to maintain and develop peace and international relationships as well as promote respect for human rights.
World – “COVID-19 CORONAVIURS PANDEMIC” worldometers. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/?utm_campaign=home. Accessed 3 July 2020.
“Current Members.” United Nations Security Council. https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/content/current-members. Accessed 3 July 2020.
“FAQ.” United Nations Security Council. https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/content/faq
“Stalled Security Council resolution adopted, backing UN’s global humanitarian ceasefire call” UN News, 1 July 2020. news.un.org, https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/07/1067552
“What is the Security Council.” United Nations Security Council. https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/content/what-security-council
“Where We Operate.” United Nations Peacekeeping, https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/where-we-operate. Accessed 3 July 2020.
Wamsley, Laurel. “U.N. Security Council Demands Cease-Fire In Conflict Areas, Due To COVID-19.” NPR, 1 July 2020. www.npr.org, https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/07/01/886079785/u-n-security-council-demands-cease-fire-in-conflict-areas-due-to-covid-19