TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – The UN General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution recognizing “the unprecedented effects” of the coronavirus pandemic and calling for “intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat” the COVID-19 disease.
It was the first resolution adopted by the 193-member world body on the pandemic that is sweeping the world and reflects global concern at the fast-rising death toll and number of cases, AP reported.
The assembly, however, failed to approve a Russian-backed resolution calling for UN solidarity in the face of the challenges posed by the new virus and urging an end to trade wars, protectionist practices and unilateral sanctions without UN Security Council approval.
Under new voting rules instituted because the General Assembly isn’t holding meetings, a resolution is defeated if even a single country objects to it. Normally, assembly resolutions are adopted by majority votes or by consensus
Diplomats said the European Union, United Kingdom, United States and Ukraine objected to the Russian draft, which was co-sponsored by Central African Republic, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande sent a letter to member nations late Thursday saying that although an extension for objections to the Russian draft had been granted until Tuesday at 6 p.m. EDT, “subsequent consultations with several delegations clearly indicated that further time will not facilitate the resolution of the differences expressed.” Therefore, he said, the time for objections “has come to an end, effective immediately,” and the resolution remains defeated.
Bande sent a letter earlier Thursday evening informing all UN member nations that there were no objections to the other resolution, titled “Global Solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease” and sponsored by Ghana, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland. He said it was approved and is in effect.
The resolution reaffirms the General Assembly’s “commitment to international cooperation and multilateralism and its strong support for the central role of the United Nations system in the global response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.”
It calls on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to lead the mobilization and coordination of a global response to the pandemic “and its adverse social, economic and financial impact on all societies.”