The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, called for a global ceasefire to focus on the fight against the new coronavirus (Covid-19) on Monday.
"Today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives," Guterres wrote in an opinion piece on the UN website.
"The virus does not care about race or nationality, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly," he said, adding that the most vulnerable, namely women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalised and the displaced, pay the highest price.
Civilians who have to flee from war are in much greater danger of dying of the coronavirus, Guterres said, adding that "the fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war."
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"To warring parties, I say: pull back from hostilities. Put aside mistrust and animosity. Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes," he said. This is, according to him, crucial "to help create corridors for life-saving aid, open precious windows for diplomacy, and bring hope to places among the most vulnerable" to the coronavirus.
"It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now," he said. "That is what our human family needs, now more than ever," he added.
The Brussels Times