High-Level Open Debate of the UN Security Council: Pandemics and the Challenges of Sustaining Peace

The challenge of sustaining peace has been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic and its social and economic effects. The crisis has caused multi-dimensional disruption, putting gains on the ground in peace, security, development and human rights at risk. However, the pandemic has also created opportunities for more integrated approaches to peacebuilding and sustaining peace.

Image of a large, formal meeting space.

On July 1, 2020, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2532, recognizing that the pandemic could reverse peacebuilding gains made by countries in transition and post-conflict countries. At a high-level open debate chaired by Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno L.P. Marsudi on August 12, 2020, Secretary-General António Guterres, former Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and Sarah Cliffe, director of the Center on International Cooperation, briefed the Security Council on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for conflict prevention. In the subsequent open debate, member states exchanged views on COVID-19’s impacts on sustaining peace and discussed avenues for multilateral cooperation in response.

A summary of key points from Sarah Cliffe’s briefing is available here.

Download a copy of her full remarks as delivered here.

The webcast of the full debate can be viewed below:

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