UN General Assembly Urges End to Unilateral Sanctions in Covid-19 Vote

US suffers multiple defeats in high-profile vote

The Trump Administration doesn’t always get its way at the UN, especially the General Assembly. On Friday they suffered a string of embarrassing defeats in votes surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic resolution, culminating with a 169-2 resolution to adopt, opposed only by the US and Israel.

Early debate on the pandemic included the US pushing to remove all mentions of the World Health Organization (WHO), whom President Trump has a problem with, and to include language blaming China for the virus. The US also wanted to remove calls for women to have access to reproductive health, as well as people in general being allowed “global sustainable transport.” All those votes failed, with the US getting no more than 2-3 votes.

Where things really got ugly was when Cuba offered an amendment on a paragraph in the resolution. The paragraph original called for all obstacles to be removed which prevented nations from accessing health technologies and products. Cuba included that all countries must “refrain from promulgating and apply any unilateral economic, financial, or trade measures.”

Since the US heavily sanctions a lot of nations, they opposed this vigorously, but lost 132-3. They tried to offer an amendment to pull the Cuban language back out of the resolution, but lost in similar fashion.

The administration not only made clear what positions in the resolution they considered unacceptable, but pushed throughout the day to change things to be more acceptable to President Trump’s talking points.

This resolution may have been non-binding, but the consistent US defeats were plain for anyone to see, and being defeated by the vast, vast majority of the world’s nations shows America as very isolated and enjoying not even the superficial support they used to be able to depend on from smaller nations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.