Global solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), A/RES/74/270
On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) learned about a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown cause in the Hubei Province of China. On 9 January 2020, WHO reported that Chinese authorities had determined that the outbreak was caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (nCoV). Only a few weeks later, on 11 March 2020, WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.
On 2 April 2020, the General Assembly adopted the first resolution related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in which it recognized the unprecedented effects of this pandemic, including the severe disruption to societies and economies as well as the devastating impact on the livelihoods of people around the world. It emphasized that a global response based on unity, solidarity and multilateral cooperation was required.
To contain the spread of COVID-19, in-person plenary meetings were suspended and this resolution was adopted through the silence procedure. On 27 March 2020, the General Assembly adopted decision 74/544 that established a “Procedure for taking decisions of the General Assembly during the COVID-19 pandemic.” It authorized the President of the General Assembly to circulate, after consultation with the General Committee, draft resolutions and decisions to all Member States under a silence procedure of at least 72 hours. If Member States did not raise any objections during this time, the draft text was considered adopted.