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Rome Reports

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UN Security Council's COVID-19 resolution: what's it about?

On July 1, 2020 the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing a March 23 appeal by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for an immediate global ceasefire during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UN Secretary-General
“The call yielded some positive results, but these have since expired, in some cases broken down. The Council has an important role to bring its voice and influence to bear on these situations, and I welcome your support.”

The Council calls for the immediate cessation of all armed conflicts for at least 90 days, in order to enable the safe and sustained delivery of humanitarian aid to those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, allowing also for medical evacuations. 

The resolution also states that the ceasefire does not apply to ongoing military operations against extremist groups, including Da'esh, Al Qaeda and the Al Nusra Front.

The resolution was drafted by Tunisia and France, then approved by the 15 council members, each representing a different country.

French Ambassador to the UN
We achieved a good result because we managed to keep the focus on the expectation from the international community and from the invitation of the Secretary-General, meaning a cessation of hostilities and the implementation of humanitarian access.”

Permanent Representative of China to the UN
“Politicizing and stigmatizing lead nowhere. Countries should take up responsibilities, respect science, replace differences with unity, dispel doubts with reason, form synergies in the global fight and build a better future for all.”

During the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis also praised the Security Council for taking this concrete step toward peace, especially during the health crisis. The pope had already shown support for Antonio Guterres' initial call for a global ceasefire in March.