As pandemic escalates, Guterres suggests parties put down their arms
With the world in the throes of the calamitous COVID-19 pandemic, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres is pushing for a global ceasefire, seeing a planet-wide halt to war as a chance to allow an all-out effort to fight the virus.
This is getting some interest beyond NGOs and the Pope. As of Friday, 11 countries have endorsed the idea, including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Libya, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen.
While the UN is still looking for a big nation engaged in foreign wars to really make this a thing, but some of these nations have some substantial domestic conflicts that might benefit from a ceasefire, and countries like Syria may find themselves influencing others.
These are also some of the countries most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemics, with countries like Yemen, Libya, and Syria some of the nations least prepared for an outbreak, with war leaving the countries with little medical infrastructure.
Recognition that the wars would only make their situations worse, these nations are backing the global ceasefire, and while it’s still a long way from stopping any huge wars, it shows promising understanding that war and pandemic are two distinct priorities.