US, China block UN resolution in spat over WHO handling of COVID-19

US, China block UN resolution in spat over WHO handling of COVID-19

New York (Web Desk): The United States and China remained at loggerheads Thursday over a UN Security Council draft resolution calling for a 90-day humanitarian pause in conflicts worldwide in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.


The stalemate — over a mention of the World Health Organisation (WHO) — leaves little hope of a quick vote as the Security Council struggles to find a response to the global crisis, remaining largely mute since the once-in-a-century pandemic began killing tens of thousands of people and shutting down economies across the world.

“It’s a major stalemate, nobody’s moving,” one diplomat said. “We’re treading water,” said another.

The text, authored by France and Tunisia, has been under discussion for weeks.

It calls for a 90-day humanitarian pause to bring aid to the most vulnerable populations caught in conflicts around the globe, including in places such as Afghanistan and Yemen.

The draft also supports a March 23 plea by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a worldwide ceasefire to facilitate the fight against the coronavirus.

But Washington and Beijing remain at loggerheads over how to refer to the World Health Organisation in the text.