BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:30 A.M.) – The conflict between the United States and China is raging over the growing stalemate due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For more than seven weeks, the Security Council has been trying to agree on a text designed to support a call by the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on March 23 for a ceasefire in global conflicts so that the world can focus on the pandemic.
But talks on a draft resolution prepared by France and Tunisia have stalled due to a standoff between China and the United States over calls for WHO support. The United States does not want to refer to the world body while China insists that the resolution should include that.
Estonia and Germany circulated on Tuesday a new draft resolution to the Security Council focusing on supporting Guterres and calling for a humanitarian truce in conflicts around the world for 90 days. It does not include any reference to the World Health Organization.
“All we want to see is a resolution that provides for a ceasefire,” Kelly Kraft, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said during an online discussion on Thursday with the University of North Carolina Policy Institute.
“It does not matter which country puts this decision. The important thing is that it is simplified, it talks about a global cease-fire and ensuring that humanitarian aid reaches those who need it most,” she said, noting support for the draft prepared by Estonia and Germany.
However, a Chinese diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity to Reuters, said that the French-Tunisian draft, which included an implicit reference to the World Health Organization “still has overwhelming support from members and represents the best way forward.”
“There is no possibility of adopting the Estonian German draft,” he added.
Washington has cut off funding to the WHO, a United Nations agency, after President Donald Trump accused them of focusing too much on China and by encouraging Chinese “misinformation” over the outbreak of the coronairus, which the organization denied.
Last week, it seemed that the Security Council had reached a compromise on the French-Tunisian draft resolution, but the U.S. later rejected it.
Diplomats said Washington rejected the language. The Chinese diplomat said that Beijing agreed to compromise.