As nations across the world grapple with the Covid-19 crisis, the dire state of multilateralism has once again come into focus. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) hasn’t been spared, and has come under increasing criticism for its muted response to a pandemic that should be regarded as a major threat to international peace, security and stability.
Arguably the region with the most to lose as a result of the council’s deficiencies during this period is Africa, which features disproportionately high on the UNSC’s agenda. Given the continent’s comparatively weak economic, governance and healthcare systems, a coherent global peace and security response to Covid-19 is even more vital.
During this time, South Africa’s role as one of three elected members of the UNSC (and as African Union chair) is critical, as recent Institute for Security Studies (ISS) research shows. The pandemic’s spread has elevated the significance of the country’s current appointment. It has also sharpened the need for South Africa to work decisively to ensure Africa doesn’t bear the brunt of the council’s shortcomings…..more