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The COVID-19 test of the United Nations Security Council
International Journal  (IF0.836),  Pub Date : 2021-01-15, DOI: 10.1177/0020702020986897
Bruno Charbonneau

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has failed the COVID-19 test, unable to promote or facilitate multilateral cooperation in dealing with the outbreak. This is worrying given its relevance as a principal organ of the United Nations (UN) that could enable or constrain international cooperation and given the need for such cooperation in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The failure of the UNSC to respond adequately to the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the historical limits of the UNSC as a forum for international cooperation. It also suggests that highlighting and debating UNSC reforms are not sufficient or even productive ways to move forward, especially in the context of the challenges that pandemics and climate change represent for global cooperation. It is far from clear if the UN system can change the global structures on which it was built. What does seem clear is that the UNSC is not where one will find the seeds of change for reimagining global order.