UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 26 (CNA) - The UN Security Council gave unanimous approval on Friday (Feb 26) to a resolution calling for improved access to COVID-19 vaccines in conflict-hit or impoverished countries, diplomats said.

It was the second resolution on the pandemic passed by the council since it began a year ago.

The first pandemic resolution passed by the council, in July of last year, needed more than three months of back and forth negotiations before it finally won approval.

The process was agonizingly slow because of disputes between the US and China. That resolution called for ceasefires in war zones to facilitate the fight against the pandemic.

The new resolution approved Friday stresses "the urgent need for solidarity, equity, and efficacy" in fighting the pandemic in countries with limited access to vaccines.

The resolution "invites donation of vaccine doses from developed economies and all those in a position to do so to low- and middle-income countries and other countries in need."

It also "calls for the strengthening of national and multilateral approaches and international cooperation? in order to facilitate equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines in armed conflict situations, post-conflict situations and complex humanitarian emergencies."

The UN says some 160 million people live in such conditions.

This new draft urges Secretary General Antonio Guterres to carry out frequent assessments of obstacles to vaccine access.

It also calls on member countries to take measures to prevent speculation in and hoarding of vaccines so as to ensure access to inoculation, especially in conflict zones.