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Terrorists May Use Pandemic as an Opportunity To Strike: UN Chief Warns

The UN chief emphasised that the pandemic has blocked international, regional & national conflict resolution efforts when they’re needed most.

New York| The UN chief Antonio Guterres while recognising COVID-19 pandemic as a security threat, said that the virus has provided a “window” into how a bio-terrorist attack might uncover across the world issuing a strong indication that access to “virulent strains” could be obtained by non-state groups which could put societies in similar devastation around the globe.

The Secretary-General Antonio Guterres listed underlying risks to the world due to the highly infectious virus as he addressed the UN Security Council, which for the first time discussed the coronavirus pandemic in a closed video-conference session on Thursday under the Presidency of the Dominican Republic.

“Fight of a generation — and the raison d’etre of the United Nations itself,” said UN chief Antonio Guterres while describing the struggle against COVID-19.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in his briefing to UN’s most powerful body, UNSC, “While the COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a health crisis, its implications are much more far-reaching. The outbreak also poses a significant threat to the maintenance of world peace and security — potentially leading to a rise in social unrest and violence that would greatly undermine our ability to fight the pandemic.”

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United Nations chief added that the inefficiencies and lack of preparedness highlighted by this pandemic gives a window onto how a bio-terrorist attack might unfold – and may increase its risks.

Asserting strong concern that the threat of terrorism remains vital, Antonio Guterres, who had called for a ceasefire for all global conflicts on March 23 said, “terrorist groups may see a window of opportunity to strike while the attention of most governments is turned towards the pandemic.”

There are over 1.6 million positive coronavirus cases around the globe and over 95,000 people have been killed so far due to the deadly virus, according to Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Centre.

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