You've got mail: UN passes motions by email in coronavirus-hit New York

You've got mail: UN passes motions by email in coronavirus-hit New York
Motions passed focused on peacekeeping operations in Africa. File picture.

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted four resolutions on Monday, with its 15 members voting by email for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Members voted to keep troops in Sudan’s restive Darfur region until the end of May and maintain the UN political mission in Somalia until June 30.

They extended the mandate of the UN panel of experts monitoring sanctions against North Korea until April 30, 2021, and they stressed the importance of supporting the UN’s far-flung peacekeeping operations.

The UN’s most powerful body has been meeting by video because of COVID-19, which has struck hard in New York City, where the UN has its headquarters.

The last council meeting in the headquarters complex was on March 12, when a resolution was adopted extending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan and welcoming “encouraging developments” toward peace.

A resolution sponsored by the UK and Germany extends the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur known as UNAMID until May 31, when the council said it would decide on “the responsible draw-down and exit” of UNAMID.

The council said it also intends to establish “a follow-on presence to UNAMID” at the same time.

The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when ethnic Africans rebelled, accusing the Arab-dominated Sudanese government of discrimination.

In recent years, as the result of a successful government military campaign, the rebellion has been reduced to a single rebel faction.

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