UN chief stresses the importance of a strong, united voice to tackle coronavirus pandemic

United Nations --- As the world battles the deadly novel coronavirus, nations will benefit from a strong, united voice from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to deal with such a crisis, a spokesman for UN chief Antonio Guterres said days after the powerful UN arm met for the first time to discuss the pandemic.

The UN secretary-general's spokesman Stephane Dujarric replied to a query at the daily press briefing on Tuesday when asked whether Guterres was disappointed about the bare press elements issued by the 15-nation Council last week and if he wanted to see a resolution on the lines that were issued on HIV and Ebola outbreaks.

The UNSC met for the first time last week to discuss the pandemic and underlined the need for unity and solidarity with those affected by the COVID-19 and expressed support for the efforts of Guterres on the potential impact of the pandemic.

The Council, meeting under the Presidency of the Dominican Republic, held a closed video-conference session "in connection with the impact of COVID-19 on the issues that fall under the Security Council's mandate." Guterres had also briefed the Council.

"All I would say on the Security Council is that we would. obviously. all benefit in any situation from a strong, united voice from the Security Council," Dujarric said.

In Press Elements issued following the meeting, the UNSC said Members "expressed their support for all efforts of the secretary-general concerning the potential impact of COVID-19 pandemic to conflict-affected countries and recalled the need for unity and solidarity with all those affected." Briefing the Council, Guterres had said that the world faces its gravest test since the founding of the United Nations 75 years ago and there is fear that the worst is yet to come especially in the developing world and countries already battered by armed conflict.

Guterres stressed that the engagement of the Security Council will be critical to mitigate the peace and security implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Indeed, a signal of unity and resolve from the Council would count for a lot at this anxious time," he said.

The Council was seen as "missing in action" as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc across the world.

According to the Johns Hopkins University data, the pandemic, which originated in Wuhan City of central China's Hubei province in November, has so far infected 1.97 million people and killed at least 126,500 people globally.

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