UN General Assembly: US-China tensions flare over coronavirus


Pandemic is a test of international cooperation. One, the U. N secretary general says the world is failing is NPR's Michelle Kellerman reports that failure Was on display at the ongoing General Assembly. The secretary general is trying to use this virtual General Assembly to get countries to work together to fight the pandemic and many other global challenges. But one Security Council debate showed just how hard this will be. You know shame on each of you. I am astonish, and I'm disgusted. That's the U. S ambassador to the U. N. Kelly Craft accusing her colleagues, though not naming, which ones of playing politics with covert 19 members of the council who took this opportunity to focus on political grudges rather than the critical issue at hand. My goodness Craft defended the Trump administration's decision to pull out of the World Health Organization and said China should be held to account for quote, unleashing this plague onto the world. China's Ambassador John Joon, says the US is just trying to blame others for its own failings. The United the States has been spread in political virus on this information. And for 18 confrontation on division. Up to that point, it had been a rather dry Security Council meeting about global governance in the wake of covert 19. There was a lot of talk about multilateralism and a few veiled swipes at the Trump Administration's America first approach, Kraft said. The U. S has given you n agencies $900 million to counter the pandemic and compared that to others on the Security Council. NYU's year 4.6 million South Africa 8.4 million Indonesia five million. The US does give more to the U. N than other, says Richard Gallon of the International Crisis Group. But this is not just about money. Foreign diplomats had grown accustomed to trump attacking. Yuen arrangements like the Paris climate deal on mechanisms like the Human Rights Council. But they were genuinely shocked the Washington would walk away from the W. H O during a global pandemic. Speaking via Skype, he said diplomats are worried about what he calls a nasty fight between the US and China as Beijing tries to increase its influence in the world body on a day to day basis, Chinese diplomats in New York are often Very assertive, increasingly hard line and sometimes bullying colleagues from smaller countries. The reality is that for most members of the U. N, neither the US nor China Is offering an attractive vision of the future of multilateralism and the world needs multilateral solutions on a range of issues beyond the pandemic, says Latisha Courtois, who represents the International Committee of the Red Cross. She's raising the alarms about the forgotten conflicts from Yemen to this, the hell region of Africa has a triple threat of climate conflict and called it mansions. And for that they need to be a collective approach. The U. N Secretary General Antonio Guterres made the same appeal all week, reminding diplomats that the World Sol a previous period of fragmentation a century ago. The result was the first World War. Followed by the seconds. Over. 19 is casting a dark shadow across the world. And he called the band eh Mika warning that must spur US toe action. Michelle Kelemen. NPR news, the State Department

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