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by John Helmer, Moscow

Late last week the 193 member states of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) agreed unanimously on a statement of “solidarity of countries in the fight against the pandemic”. They also agreed unanimously there is “no place for any form of discrimination, racism and xenophobia in the response to the pandemic.”

On the explicit opposition of Ukraine, Georgia, the US, the UK, and the European Union, the UN did not agree on “the rejection of trade wars and the use of unilateral sanctions adopted in circumvention of the UN Security Council to ensure urgent access to food and medicine, as well as countering financial speculation with essential goods.”  This was the language of a resolution drafted by Russia.

Thus has the world decided that warfare is an essential service and should continue without lockdown, quarantine, social distancing, hand-washing, or restriction of any kind.

On March 23, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had issued a letter to the UN  declaring “we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world.”

Source: https://www.un.org/en/

Guterres also “urge[d] G-20 leaders to commit to ban tariffs, quotas or non-tariff measures, and remove restrictions on cross border trade that affect the deployment of medical equipment, medicines and other essential goods to fight the epidemic. And I am encouraging the waiving of sanctions imposed on countries to ensure access to food, essential health supplies, and COVID-19 medical support. This is the time for solidarity not exclusion.”

In a parallel but separate appeal, Guterres called for “an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives. To warring parties, I say: Pull back from hostilities. Put aside mistrust and animosity. Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes. This is crucial.”

In the week which followed at the UN in New York, the Russian draft resolution backed the Guterres measures; the US, the UK and the EU mobilized to block any mention of them in the final vote.

Under the special rule of adoption by unanimity in effect at the General Assembly at the moment, there was no official vote because there were enough country objections to prevent unanimity. The New York City press claimed the Russian resolution had been co-sponsored by the Central African Republic, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. The Russian mission to the UN announced there were 24 more co-sponsoring states for a total of 28.

The position of China towards the Russian draft resolution was not reported. But the language of the Russian resolution explicitly addressed the anti-Chinese propaganda which has been circulated in the US press. “Our draft also contains important provisions about the unacceptability of stigmatizations of states, peoples and individuals with regard to the pandemic, and the need to circulate only reliable and science-based information about it.”

The text of the Russian draft has also not been released by the Russian Foreign Ministry. Instead, the Ministry issued a preliminary statement on March 23.   “In view of the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic,”, the Ministry said it was “urging all parties to regional armed conflicts to immediately stop hostilities, secure a ceasefire, and introduce a humanitarian pause… We proceed from the assumption that these developments could lead to a global humanitarian disaster, given that most  people  in  the current hot spots lack access to medicines and skilled medical assistance.”

“Of special concern are the situations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Syria, as well in the Palestinian territories, including the Gaza Strip. We note separately the risks associated with the possible deterioration of the epidemiological situation in African countries, where there is a persisting armed confrontation. The localities with camps for refugees and internally displaced persons are particularly vulnerable. Our call is primarily addressed to the nations, which illegally use military force outside of their national borders. We especially note that the current conditions offer no justification for unilateral coercive measures, including economic restrictions, which are a severe impediment on the authorities’ efforts to protect the health of their populations.”

Source: https://russiaun.ru/

A press release by the Russian UN mission, following the April 2 events, said: “our document failed to be adopted by consensus. Ukraine, Georgia, UK, US, and EU prevented it. We regret that a small group of states championing sanctions-based policy appeared unready to respond to the call of the UN Secretary-General and refused to cast aside politicized approaches and interests. As a result, it will be much more difficult to give a global and solidary response to the threat of the new pandemic. A great number of people, in the developing countries in the first place, might be affected.”

 “We would be very interested to hear and see in writing reasoning and arguments for blocking our draft Declaration by the EU, US and UK. We would be willing and happy to spare and exempt Ukraine and Georgia from undertaking this exercise, as their arguments, as ever contemptuous and politicized, would not add any value to the understanding by most of the Member-States.”

To defend warfare as exempt from measures to stop the Covid-19 pandemic, the Anglo-American media continue to promote the narrative of Russian culpability in the MH17 shootdown of July 2014, fabricated by the US and Dutch governments now running a trial near Amsterdam; and Russian assassination plotting in the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal of March 2018.

For full coverage of the MH17 false front trial, read this archive. For the true story of the Skripals and their imprisonment in the UK, start with the book.

This week in Canada,  Gorilla Radio presented two on-air discussions of breaking news in the MH17 and Skripal cases, putting them in context of the Covid-19 crisis. For background on how Russia is dealing with Covid-19 differently from the European and North American governments, read this.

Source: http://johnhelmer.online/

Chris Cook asks the questions. Listen to the interview broadcast here between Minute 1:20 and 27:00.

An extended hour-long broadcast focusing on the Russian approach to Covid-19 can be listened to at this link.

Gorilla Radio is broadcast every Thursday on CFUV 101.9 FM from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  The radio station can be heard here.  The Gorilla Radio transcripts are also published by the Pacific Free Press and on the blog.    For Chris Cook’s broadcast archive, click to open.

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