23 Apr 2020 22:04

France, Tunisia introduce UN SC draft resolution calling for global truce

NEW YORK. April 23 (Interfax) - France and Tunisia have jointly introduced a draft UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate global ceasefire, a source at the UN headquarters told Interfax.

The council is currently negotiating the draft, there is no voting date yet, he said.

The Security Council "demands a general and immediate cessation of hostilities in all countries," says the document, a copy of which was made available to Interfax.

The draft urges all parties to armed conflicts to engage immediately in a durable humanitarian pause for at least 30 consecutive days.

The document also proposes that for the duration of the pandemic UN peacekeepers be given a mandate to help countries contain the coronavirus.

"The unprecedented extent of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security," the draft reads.

Whether the World Health Organization should be mentioned in the document remains an open question.

Earlier, the UN General Assembly unanimously voted for a resolution urging for a wide availability of medications, personal protective equipment and future coronavirus vaccines, acknowledging "the crucial leading role played by the World Health Organization" in the fight against the pandemic. The United States has distanced itself from the WHO clause.

On April 9 the Security Council held its first session on the coronavirus by videolink. The UN SC discussed issues under its mandate: holding peacekeeping operations, humanitarian missions against the backdrop of the pandemic, and the call by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for immediate global ceasefire.

In March UN SC members failed to agree on a chairman's statement on the coronavirus due to their differences in identifying sources of the problem and the requests by some nations to stipulate the lifting of unilateral sanctions hindering the fight against Covid-19.