The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a halt to conflicts to facilitate the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, after more than three months of painstaking negotiations.
The resolution, drafted by France and Tunisia, calls for “an immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations” on the Security Council’s agenda.
It is the Security Council’s first statement on the pandemic and its first real action since the outbreak started.
The 15-member peace and security body voiced its support for efforts by Secretary-General António Guterres – who first appealed for a global ceasefire on 23 March – towards that goal.
The two-page resolution was adopted 111 days after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic.
Through the resolution, the Council called upon all parties to armed conflicts to immediately engage in a “durable humanitarian pause” of at least 90 days, to enable the safe, unhindered and sustained delivery of lifesaving aid.
It affirmed, however, that no ceasefire would apply for ongoing military operations against the extremist group ISIL, otherwise known as Da’esh, Al Qaeda, the Al Nusra Front and other Council-designated terrorist groups.
It requested the Secretary-General to instruct the United Nations’ 13 peacekeeping missions to support host country efforts to contain the coronavirus, and to provide updates on UN efforts to address the pandemic in conflict zones and humanitarian crisis areas.