Supporting the Secretary General’s Call for a COVID-19 Global Ceasefire

Covid19 Peace and Disarmament

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On 23rd March 2020, UN Secretary General António Guterres said, “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war. That is why, 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.”

In support of this, LASER Chair, Trisha Rogers, has written the following letter to the UK Foreign Secretary:

Dear Foreign Secretary

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, last week the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for a global ceasefire to “end the sickness of war” and focus all of the world’s resources on fighting the pandemic.  He said, “Our world faces a common enemy, COVID-19. The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith.  It attacks all, relentlessly.  Meanwhile armed conflict rages on around the world.  The most vulnerable … pay the highest price.”

I am writing to you on behalf of the London and South East Region of the United Nations Association (UNA LASER) to urge you to support the Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire and to instruct Karen Pierce to do proactively all in her power at the UN to bring this about.

Please will you work for such a ceasefire not only through the United Nations Security Council and other key UN mechanisms. Also please use your good offices to achieve ceasefires in wars in which the UK is involved, such as the war in Yemen on which the UK is currently pen holder at the UN and where billions of pounds worth of UK-manufactured arms have been responsible for much of the destruction, including of hospitals and clinics.

In all conflicts, health services suffer. When, as will surely happen, COVID-19 reaches such countries, the consequences will be horrific. It has become clearer than ever in recent weeks both that we are unavoidably globally interdependent and also that genuine security for us all has more to do with working together towards human and planetary wellbeing than with violent attempts at domination.

So we in UNA LASER urge you to use all your good offices to help bring about the ceasefire being called for by the UN Secretary General.  Such an achievement would relieve immense suffering and help us all work together to tackle COVID-19.

Yours faithfully

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