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US blocks UN global ceasefire resolution over its support for WHO

WASHINGTON has blocked a UN security council resolution calling for a global ceasefire during the Covid-19 pandemic over objections to an indirect reference seen as praising the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The US used its veto despite the resolution being watered down in a bid to accommodate US misgivings after China initially insisted the resolution include support for the WHO efforts in dealing with the coronavirus crisis.

Delegates spent six weeks debating in an effort to reach an agreement to demonstrate support for UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres’s call for a global ceasefire.

Last week it appeared that agreement could be reached after French diplomats drafted a compromise referring to UN “specialised health agencies” instead of naming the WHO.

Russia indicated that it favoured a call for the lifting of sanctions affecting the delivery of medical aid to be included, a less than subtle reference to the US measures imposed on Cuba, Venezuela and Iran.

But it was not expected to use its veto over the issue as it backs the ceasefire call.

But on Friday the US blocked a vote, saying it objected to the phrase “UN specialised health agencies.”

Washington blames the WHO for the Covid-19 pandemic and has accused it of colluding with China in a cover-up.

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