Amid coronavirus pandemic UNSC Chief warns of terrorism threat

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Published: April 10,2020 01:03 PM
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April 10, 2020: Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the UN Security Council on Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic is threatening international peace and security as

April 10, 2020: Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the UN Security Council on Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic is threatening international peace and security as "potentially leading to an increase in social unrest and violence that would greatly undermine our ability to fight the disease."



The UN's most powerful body, which has been silent on COVID-19 since it started circling the globe sickening and killing tens of thousands, issued its first brief press statement after the closed meeting.



It recognised the pandemic as a security threat and expressed “support for all efforts of the secretary-general concerning the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to conflict-affected countries and recalled the need for unity and solidarity with all those affected".



"While COVID-19 is first and foremost a health crisis, its implications are much more far-reaching. Terrorist groups may see window of opportunity to strike while the attention of most Governments is turned towards pandemic," Guterres said, as quoted by news agency ANI.



In addition to this, Gutterres said that the coronavirus pandemic might further erode the people's trust in public institutions if citizens perceive government have mishandled the response or lacked transparency about the scope of the crisis.



Guterres, who called for a cease-fire for all global conflicts on March 23, said the crisis has "hindered international, regional and national conflict resolution efforts, exactly when they are needed most."



He cited other pressing risks to global security from the pandemic: terrorists seeing an opportunity to strike, groups seeing how a biological terrorist attack might unfold, the erosion of trust in public institutions, economic instability, political tensions from postponing elections or referenda, uncertainty sparking further division and turmoil in some countries, and COVID-19 "triggering or exacerbating various human rights challenges".



The Secretary-General reiterated that the United Nations faces "its gravest tests since the organization was founded 75 years ago from the pandemic and concluded saying: "This is the fight of a generation - and the reason for the United Nations itself."


Terrorism    Threat    UNSC    Coronavirus    COVID19    World    DY365