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US Blocks UN Global Ceasefire Resolution, Objecting to Indirect Reference to World Health Organization

Posted by on May 9, 2020 in Government, Politics with 0 Comments

The U.S. blocked a U.N. global ceasefire resolution amid the global pandemic on Friday, objecting to language that even indirectly praised the World Health Organization. (Photo: via EuroYankee)

By Julia Conley | Common Dreams

International diplomats were stunned and frustrated Friday night after the U.S. again blocked a United Nations resolution to call for a global ceasefire during the coronavirus pandemic.


The U.S. objected to any mention of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the resolution. President Donald Trump has claimed WHO withheld information from world governments about the coronavirus, and that the global health agency was privy to information about the virus originating in a lab in China.

The president has offered no evidence of the claims.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on governments around the world to enact ceasefires in conflicts, convincing armed factions in more than a dozen countries to call for temporary truces as the world battles the pandemic.

For six weeks the U.S. delegation to the U.N. Security Council has objected to references to WHO within the resolution, forcing French officials to lead an effort to reach a compromise.


France was confident this week that the U.S. would agree to a resolution containing the phrase “specialized health agencies,” appeasing both the U.S. and China, which has insisted on a reference to WHO.

But on Friday, the U.S. announced it would not support the resolution and blocked the Security Council from holding a vote.

Diplomats on the council were perplexed over how to proceed.

“Obviously they have changed their mind within the American system so that wording is still not good enough for them,” one official told The Guardian. “It might be that they just need a bit more time to settle it amongst themselves, or it might be that someone very high up has made a decision they don't want it, and therefore it won't happen. It is unclear at this moment, which one it is.”

Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand, wrote that the U.S. is playing the “blame game” rather than joining with other countries to focus efforts on the global health crisis and put fighting on hold.

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