Saturday, May 23, 2020

UN reiterates ceasefire call to fight COVID-19

GENEVA: The United Nations (UN) yesterday repeated the call for all quarters around the world to abide by the ceasefire and focus on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, said the global conflict that left more than 200,000 dead or injured and more than 70 million forced to flee the country 10 years ago would make it harder to fight the virus.

"In a report by the UN Security Council (UNSC) this week, the COVID-19 pandemic has been described as the biggest test the world has faced since its inception 75 years ago.

"The support received by the UN from regional organizations, armed groups, communities and individuals around the world on the March 23 ceasefire appeal has been overwhelming.

"However, there are still barriers to implementing a ceasefire, especially in areas facing prolonged conflict," he said.

He added that in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for a ceasefire was critical.

Among the countries involved in last year's war conflict include Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.

However, Guterres said the UNSC statistics are not real because they do not involve civilians in conflicts in Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, western Darfur region of Sudan and Palestinian territories.

"The UN is having a hard time helping people in conflict zones, especially with the spread of COVID-19 because most of the areas do not have adequate medical facilities or treatment.

"The best approach now is to stop the conflict and try to curb the spread of the virus that can save more lives regardless of the victim," he said.

He also warned that maybe some would take advantage of the pandemic to launch an attack as the world is now more focused on solving the COVID-19 problem. - AFP

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