The UN General Assembly moved Thursday to hold a special session focused on international coordination in response to the coronavirus pandemic from December 3-4 in New York.
Discussed since June, the meeting is intended to bring together heads of state and government according to a resolution adopted by 150 of the 193 General Assembly members.
No country voted against the measure, while the US, Israel and Armenia abstained.
Leaders will be able to submit five-minute pre-recorded statements to be broadcast in the General Assembly Hall.
The clips will be played after short introductions from representatives physically present in the room, according to the resolution – a format similar to that of the annual General Assembly meeting in September.
In-person appearances by world leaders are unlikely, given New York state’s required 14-day quarantine period for international visitors.
The United States has already indicated it is opposed to an expanded role for the World Health Organization in fighting the pandemic, a stance facing major Russia pushback.
Germany, meanwhile, criticized the resolution as too vague, while Britain called for representation from non-governmental organizations and other civil society groups.
The 193 UN member nations have adopted four resolutions on the pandemic so far this year — on global solidarity, global access to medications and vaccines, coordination of global action, and a united response to worldwide health threats.
The Security Council on the other hand, which has had to navigate Chinese-American tensions over the virus, has only adopted one resolution on the pandemic, calling for the cessation of global conflicts in the interest of fighting Covid-19.