Even after two weeks now, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is yet to convene its meeting about the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected over 4.8 lakh people worldwide and killed more than 21,000 people. The members are divided over a proposed declaration on crisis and are holding meetings through video conferencing to vote on resolutions. China, which is the current chair of the UN Security Council meeting scheduled for Thursday, is least concerned about discussing the issue as it is favouring a 'vote by writing'. As per the precedence, council votes are taken by the show of hand in the room.
China and Russia blocked discussion on Covid-19
Estonia, a non-permanent member of UNSC, drafted a proposal last week and highlighted, highlights "growing concern about the unprecedented extent of the Covid-19 outbreak in the world, which may constitute a threat to international peace and security." Further, it also called for "full transparency" over the outbreak. But South Africa which is also another non-permanent member rejected the proposal first and later it was rejected by China and Russia.
If UNSC would discuss the Covid-19 outbreak
Weeks ago on being asked if UNSC would discuss the Covid-19 outbreak, Jun, China's envoy to UN argued, "Council members generally feel there is no reason to panic at the moment and plan to monitor the situation (with) Covid-19 currently not on the organ's agenda. The virus falls under the umbrella of global public health and security, rather than the Council's geopolitical scope."
The Chinese stand on the discussion is expected to continue even after it be replaced by another permanent member as the Chair, UNSC next month. China being the permanent member of the UNSC still has the power to veto any discussion.
The development has come after the US and China have been witnessing a strain in the relationship after the US President Donald Trump blamed the former for the spread of Coronavirus. Earlier this month, in a press conference Trump called Covid-19 a 'China-Virus' drawing sharp criticism from the Chinese regime. At the time of publishing the report, over 4.8 lakh have been affected by novel Coronavirus with more than 22,000 death.