Trump sets stage for UNSC meet on Covid-19 on April 9; pans WHO, China

China, supported by Russia and South Africa, had blocked the last attempt to discuss Covid-19 by the UNSC
UNSC will hold the first informal discussion on Covid-19 after a statement by UN secretary general António Guterres(Agencies)
UNSC will hold the first informal discussion on Covid-19 after a statement by UN secretary general António Guterres(Agencies)
Updated on Apr 07, 2020 11:21 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

After US President Donald Trump virtually blamed the World Health Organisation for playing the Chinese side on the coronavirus pandemic, heat will now mount on Beijing at an informal discussion on the virus outbreak in the UN Security Council on Thursday, April 9, at 3 pm EST (April 10 12.30 am). The informal discussion will be preceded by a briefing by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

“The WHO really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately, I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation,” Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday. It is not what prompted the outburst but as one Indian analyst put it, Trump had hit the nail on its head.

WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected to the post after China backed him in the May 2017 election as he defeated US-backed Dr David Nabarro, who was the candidate of the UK. Despite the coronavirus being detected in Wuhan in China as early as November 17, 2019, the WHO categorised Covid 19 outbreak as a pandemic on 12 March 2020 when it had crossed the borders and created havoc in Europe. By then, the virus had already killed 1,000 people in the european region.

All the 10 non-permanent members of the UN Security Council have backed the informal discussion led by the UNSC President; the post is held by the Dominican Republic. But whether the closed-door discussion will conclude with any outcome depends on the proposals put up and the exercise of veto powers of China and its ally Russia.

If President Trump’s tweet is indicative of the US mind, then the vote will be 13 to 2 or 14 to 1 depending on how Russia plays. Other two members of the P5, the UK and France have suffered at the hands of pandemic and so has Europe.

While China may say that the pandemic is not a peace and security issue - the argument used to block a request by Estonia for a discussion last month - the economic misery that the pandemic has hurled the world towards a deep crisis.


    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Another bomb exploded inside a mosque in the capital Kabul late on Wednesday, killing at least two people and wounding 10 others.

    At least 9 killed as 3 bombs strike minibuses in Afghan city: police

    Three bombs tore through minibuses in Afghanistan's northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Wednesday, killing at least nine people, police said. "The bombs were placed on three minibuses in different districts of the city," Balkh provincial police spokesman Asif Waziri told AFP, adding that 15 other people were wounded. Another bomb exploded inside a mosque in the capital Kabul late on Wednesday, killing at least two people and wounding 10 others, the interior ministry said.

  • A bomb exploded inside a mosque in the capital Kabul late on Wednesday.

    Afghanistan: 16 killed as four blasts tear through minibuses, Kabul mosque 

    At least 16 people were killed after a blast tore through a mosque in Afghanistan's capital Kabul and three blasts ripped through three minibuses northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Wednesday. A spokesman for Kabul's commander said at least two people were injured in the blast on a mosque in Kabul. Emergency hospital said in a tweet it had received five bodies from the blast and more than a dozen wounded patients, reported Reuters.

  • PTI workers set on fire a tree in Islamabad's Blue Area.

    Pakistan on boil: Trees torched, tear gas fired during Imran Khan's march

    Clashes erupted across several cities of Pakistan amid the Azadi March call by the ousted prime minister Imran Khan Niazi. After Karachi, Lahore and parts of Khyber Pakhunkhwa, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf supporters and workers resorted to violence in the federal capital Islamabad, where the party chief is set to hold the rally.

  • Pakistan's former all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez.

    ‘No petrol in any station, no cash in ATMs’: Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez 

    On a day Lahore witnessed clashes between supporters of Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and police, former Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Hafeez took to Twitter and slammed the Pakistani establishment over the shortage of fuel and cash, tagging prominent politicians in the country. Political and economic volatility has deepened in the nuclear-armed nation ahead of a likely announcement by the International Monetary Fund later in the day on whether it will resume a $6 billion rescue package.

  • FILE - In this photo taken on April 22, 2013, new recruits practice charging with bayonets at a military training center in Hsinchu County, northern Taiwan. (AP)

    China conducts military exercise around Taiwan to warn U.S.

    China's People's Liberation Army on Wednesday said it has conducted a military exercise around Taiwan as a warning against its “collusive activities” with the United States, two days after President Joe Biden said Washington would get involved militarily if China were to try to take the self-ruled island by force. “This is a stern warning to the recent collusive activities by the US and Taiwan secessionists,” Senior a spokesperson of the Eastern Theatre Command, Colonel Shi Yi was quoted in Chinese state media as saying.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 26, 2022