Protecting vulnerable citizens: United Nations chief calls for 'immediate global ceasefire' amid pandemic

Coronavirus

UN chief calls for immediate global ceasefire as coronavirus fire rages on

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on March 24, has appealed on for an "immediate global ceasefire" to protect vulnerable people from the ravages of Coronavirus pandemic, who are now stuck in conflict zones.

"The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war", the secretary-general said.

The secretary-general said over the weekend that parties in Libya had responded positively to calls for a humanitarian pause to tackle Covid-19, but he told reporters a recently agreed truce "is not holding very well, and this is one of the reasons why I believe we need a global ceasefire".

He also encouraged countries to waive sanctions to allow delivery of food, health supplies, medical equipment and support for the COVID-19 crisis, saying: "This is the time for solidarity not exclusion".

"End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world", Guterres declared.

Doing so, he said, was crucial for opening corridors to deliver life-saving aid. To open precious windows for diplomacy.

'The most vulnerable - women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced - pay the highest price, ' he said.

The UN chief urged countries to take inspiration from coalitions and dialogue slowly taking shape among rival parties in some parts to enable joint approaches to COVID-19.

This is ahead of a $2-billion appeal he's making to stop the pandemic spreading into refugee camps caused by fighting around the world.

The number of people infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) in Egypt rose to 366 cases as of today, while the number of deaths rose to 19, according to Egypt's Ministry of Health.

Guterres said he will be sending a message to the G-20 leaders and intends to have a virtual conference with all of them. "That is what our human family needs, now more than ever". "This is the moment in which the United Nations must be active, the United Nations must fully assume its responsibilities in doing what we have to do-our peacekeeping operations, our humanitarian agencies, our support to the different bodies of the global community, the Security Council, the General Assembly".

During a press briefing on March 18, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that many countries now face escalating epidemics and are feeling overwhelmed.

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