Meeting of Security Council on sidelines of UNGA saw US call upon other members
The US has called on fellow permanent members of the UN Security Council to remain “united” on Afghanistan, to hold the Taliban accountable, and to work together to ensure humanitarian access in the war-torn country.
The US, the UK, France, China and Russia - known as P5 - are the five permanent and veto-wielding members of the 15-nation powerful UN organ.
UK foreign secretary Liz Truss chaired a meeting of the foreign ministers of the P5 and UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
US state department spokesperson Ned Price said that in the meeting, secretary of state Antony Blinken underlined the need for constructive action by the P5 to maintain global peace. “The secretary (Blinken) encouraged the P5 to remain united on Afghanistan, to hold the Taliban accountable to its commitments, and to work together to ensure humanitarian access, respect for humanitarian principles, and availability of funds to meet humanitarian needs,” Price said in a statement.
The US on Thursday said Iran has given no hint that it wants to return to stalled talks over reviving the Iranian nuclear deal. “For now, certainly there’s no indication, positive indication that Iran is prepared to come back... and to try to close down the remaining issues,” a US official said.
Blinken: Will soon release Indo-Pacific strategy
Blinken told foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Thursday that Washington would soon release a new comprehensive strategy for the wider Indo-Pacific region. Blinken said the US strategy would emerge “this fall” and that “it will reflect Southeast Asia’s importance to the Indo-Pacific region and the critical role that Asean plays in determining the region’s future.”
African leaders highlight Covid-19 vaccine inequity
The inequity of Covid-19 vaccine distribution came into focus as many of the African countries whose populations have little access to the shots stepped to the podium to speak at the United Nations’ annual meeting of world leaders.
Among them was South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, who pointed to Covid vaccines as “the greatest defence that humanity has against the ravages of this pandemic”.