Offbeat Corona: António Guterres warns of viruses as a weapon of terror

15:05  10 april  2020
15:05  10 april  2020 Source:   spiegel.de

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A terrorist attack with viruses is a horror scenario: UN Secretary-General Guterres sees an increasing threat from bio-terrorists - one of several threats to international stability.

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UN Secretary General António Guterres sees an increasing risk of attacks by bio-terrorists. Their goal could be a pandemic, as the world is currently experiencing through Sars-CoV-19 .

"The weaknesses and inadequate preparation exposed by this pandemic provide insight into what a bioterrorist attack could look like - and may increase the risk of it," said Guterres at a virtual meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday (local time) in New York.

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"Non-governmental groups could gain access to virulent tribes that could cause similar devastation to societies around the world."

Concern about bio-terrorists is one of eight threats to international stability that the Secretary-General listed before the UN body because of the corona crisis. This also includes the general danger that terrorist groups could take advantage of the time of the crisis while governments are distracted by the pandemic.

The United Nations also registers Guterres, according to human rights violations related to Covid-19: "We see stigma, hate speech, right-wing extremists and other radicals trying to take advantage of the situation."

It was the first time that the United Nations Security Council met because of the Corona Crisis . Recently criticism had arisen because of the apparent standstill in the most powerful UN body. It was therefore all the more important to agree on a joint statement after the closed session: The members of the Security Council expressed their support for Guterres' efforts in the face of the pandemic and recalled "unity and solidarity with all those affected".

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tensions between the US and China

diplomats said that contrary to initial fears, the crisis had not been politicized at the meeting. All diplomatic efforts in New York are currently suffering from tensions over China's fear of being blamed. US President Donald Trump had repeatedly spoken of a "Chinese virus" and thus angered Beijing.

A meeting of the 15-member Security Council on the threat of the corona virus was postponed for weeks because the permanent members of the USA, China, Russia, Great Britain and France had planned their own - now failed - summit of their heads of state and government.

This should be preferred to a large group meeting in the Council that most elected members - including Germany - demanded. Germany's UN ambassador Christoph Heusgen criticized the Council's "deafening silence" so far. Unlike the

financial crisis 2008 , "leadership and power" have not come together internationally.

The UN Security Council is also working on two competing resolutions on Covid-19. A text under the leadership of France is only negotiated among the five veto powers. In response, the remaining ten members began working on their own resolution.

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