The security council is struggling to function as the US defies secretary general’s advice and Russia probes for political gain

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In the face of a truly global crisis, the world’s highest deliberative body, the UN security council, has been paralysed by squabbling among the major powers.

The 15-member council has not even been able to muster a joint statement on combating the spread of the coronavirus – in part because of US insistence that it should stress the Chinese origins of the pathogen, which was unacceptable to other states, not least China.

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