53 Countries Call for Global Military Ceasefire During Pandemic
(March 30, 2020) — Italy on Monday became the 53rd nation to join a call by the UN secretary general for a ceasefire in all the world’s wars as the globe fights the Covid-19 pandemic.
Missing among the nations supporting a global ceasefire in the more than 40 wars being fought around the world are four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — Britain, China, Russia and the United States — who are among the world’s largest arms traders. All possess a nuclear weapons arsenal. Only France among the P5 has called for the ceasefire.
This statement by the 53 nations listed supports an end to hostilities to help prevent the further spread of the pandemic, “the true fight of our lives,” according to Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
War, it seems, is the only part of “normal” life that continues.
Here is the global declaration:
Statement on behalf of 53 countries in their national capacity and as members of the Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security, the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict and/or the Group of Friends of the Protection of Civilians
We welcome and fully support the United Nations Secretary-General’s call for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic. We echo the Secretary-General that it is, “time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.”
As the global COVID-19 pandemic spreads, we are concerned about the plight of women, children, and all civilians caught in armed conflicts and other humanitarian crises, including the displaced and marginalized, older persons, persons with disabilities, and the wounded, sick, and detainees.
These populations are already impacted disproportionately by armed conflict. An immediate global ceasefire would markedly reduce these impacts, allow for much-needed humanitarian assistance and protection, and hopefully diminish the spread of COVID-19.
We fully support the efforts of the United Nations, including the World Health Organization, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNICEF, and other specialized agencies, funds, and programs in responding to COVID-19. Their efforts are helping to ensure vulnerable civilians living in conflict-affected countries are protected.
Furthermore, we extend our thanks and support to the humanitarian and healthcare workers on the frontlines of the response.
We stand together with all those affected by COVID-19, including civilians and vulnerable populations caught in armed conflicts and humanitarian crises around the world.
10. Costa Rica
11. Cote d’Ivoire
13. Czech Republic
15. El Salvador
29. Republic of Korea
38. The Netherlands
39. New Zealand
45. San Marino
48. South Africa
52. United Arab Emirates