UN holds virtual meetings, technical problems ensue

UN Security Council virtual meetings are not going to plan.

Spare a thought for the world’s diplomatic elite: The United Nations Security Council met for the first time on Thursday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic – but it did not go quite according to plan.

The COVID-19 pandemic is making even global diplomacy more complicated.

The UNSC is currently not sitting in its New York chamber, with ambassadors instead operating remotely. Technically, it has been far from smooth.

Some are forgetting to mute their microphones while they are not speaking. 

And sometimes meetings have to be interrupted. “I have a request to pause,” Someone is heard saying in the video. “The US has technical problems and Tunisia can’t hear very well.”

Stephane Dujarric, UN Secretary-General’s spokesman told Al Jazeera: “We are all trying our best to accommodate the Security Council and all member states and we will continue to work through whatever technical hitches there may have been.”

While all over the world meetings, even school and university lessons, are taking place on platforms like Zoom, the UN is using an old conferencing system. It is based in Brindisi in Italy, rather than in New York.

The Security Council represents the entire international community, but even they can sometimes struggle with technology. 

This report was edited by Al Jazeera NewsFeed’s Hassan Ghani.