No American compromise to fight the pandemic

The United States blocked Friday at the UN Security Council a procedure leading to the vote on a resolution calling for a “cessation of hostilities” to better fight the pandemic, according to diplomats . Washington “cannot support the current draft resolution,” announced the American side without further details to its 14 partners of the Security Council, causing their amazement. On Thursday, the United States had accepted a compromise statement on the World Health Organization (WHO), the subject of a heated dispute for weeks with China.

According to some diplomats, it is again the language on the WHO which is at the origin of the American blocking. Other sources say the United States wants to revert to an initial text proposal it abandoned on the need for “transparency” in cooperation.

The procedure broken by the United States was to allow the two sponsors of the resolution, Tunisia and France, to request a vote on the text. Hardly negotiated since March, the text obtained by AFP and which was to be subjected to a ballot called in its latest version for “reinforced coordination” between the members of the UN and underlined “the urgent need to support all countries like the relevant entities of the United Nations system, including specialized health agencies. ”

This formula, without explicitly quoting the WHO while mentioning it implicitly, represented for its authors a compromise aiming to reach a final agreement of the United States and China on the resolution. Washington, which did not want a mention on the WHO, accuses this UN agency of being lacking in transparency and having delayed the global alert on the consequences of the COVID disease – 19. Beijing, on the contrary, wanted to emphasize its importance in the fight against the pandemic.

“From our point of view, the objective should be to support the Secretary General's call for a cease-fire in the world” and not to serve China's “false speeches” on the outbreak of the pandemic in Wuhan, an official with the State Department told AFP on condition of anonymity.