UN Security Council Calls for Cease-Fires to Speed Vaccinations

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The United Nations Security Council approved a U.K.-drafted resolution Friday calling for local cease-fires in conflict zones so that coronavirus vaccinations can take place.

The passage of the resolution, which calls for cooperation to overcome “logistical barriers to equitable access,” was seen as an early sign of cooperation between the new Biden administration and China, which supported the document without too much bickering over language.

At the outset of the pandemic last year, it took the 15-member Security Council more than three months to back a call for a global cease-fire as China and the U.S. wrangled over the wording of the document, with the Trump administration seeking to pin the blame on China for allowing the pandemic to spread.

The resolution also builds support for the World Health Organization-backed Covax program, intended to help developing countries gain access to vaccines.

The process will now move to negotiations at country levels to secure temporary cease-fires, the U.K. mission to the UN said in a statement, pointing out that the council had asked UN Secretary General António Guterres to “report on those situations where it may need to take further measures to ensure vaccines can get delivered.”

“This will require continued international effort and leadership, but the Council has taken an important first step,” the mission said in the statement.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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