Covid-19: Guterres calls for "immediate, global ceasefire"

APS - 23 March 2020

NEW YORK (United Nations) - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Monday called for "an immediate and global ceasefire" to protect the most vulnerable civilians in countries in conflict from the "fury" of Covid-19.

"The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war," he said in a brief speech at UN headquarters in New York, mentioning no country by name. "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," Guterres said. "Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes."

"It is crucial for opening corridors to deliver life-saving aid," added Guterres.

After Guterres' call last week for a global response to the pandemic, which he said has put "millions" of lives at risk, the UN is expected to unveil on Wednesday a detailed global plan of humanitarian relief with the creation of a fund dedicated to the international fight against the virus.