Explanation of Vote on the Resolution on COVID-19

U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
July 1, 2020

Submitted to the UN Security Council on July 1, 2020.

Throughout our engagement in fighting the spread of this pandemic, we have consistently emphasized the need for complete transparency, objectivity, and the timely sharing of public health data and information with the international community. We have also stressed the importance of collecting accurate, science-based data and analyzing the origins, characteristics, and spread of the virus. While the United States generally supports the resolution voted on today, we would like to note that it does not include crucial language to emphasize transparency and data-sharing as critical aspects in fighting this virus. We consistently expressed this concern throughout the consultation process on this resolution.

Additionally, we would like to note that the United States supports the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire, while recognizing the imperative for critical counter-terrorism operations to continue the fight against terrorists who seek to exploit this pandemic and that of course nothing in this resolution can or is intended to prejudice actions by States in the exercise of their inherent right of sovereignty and self-defense, consistent with international law. We welcome efforts by parties to armed conflicts to respect existing cease-fire agreements and urge continued efforts to negotiate new humanitarian ceasefires in implementation of the political commitments expressed in this resolution.

The United States continues to lead the world’s humanitarian and health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working directly with governments and authorities, multilateral organizations within their existing mandates, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, faith-based, and other organizations responding on the ground to combat this virus.

That said, the United States remains seriously concerned about terrorist groups posing as humanitarian actors to exploit and benefit from humanitarian assistance, which is why Member States must remain committed to fulfilling their counterterrorism finance-related obligations, including by implementing appropriate domestic legislation in compliance with Security Council Resolution 2462 (2019) and other international obligations. Therefore, we note that nothing in this resolution is meant to call into question the lawful application of domestic laws, as required by and in a manner consistent with international law, to prevent the provision of financing and other material support to terrorists and terrorist groups, or to call into question non-arbitrary restrictions on humanitarian assistance that may be imposed consistent with international humanitarian law.

The United States has already made available more than $1.3 billion in emergency health, humanitarian, and economic assistance to combat COVID-19, in addition to the funding we already provide to NGOs and international organizations. This assistance is part of more than $12 billion allocated by agencies and departments across the U.S. government to benefit the global response, including vaccine and therapeutics development, preparedness efforts, and humanitarian assistance.