United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday called on the countries of Earth to declare an immediate ceasefire and join together to battle the coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging people and communities across the planet.
"The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war," said Guterres. "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."
Today I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 23, 2020
It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives – the #COVID19 pandemic.https://t.co/F6JRA6ekvZ pic.twitter.com/7WgtFMk5GC
"We welcome this call by António Guterres," the global anti-poverty group Concern said on Twitter. "Coronavirus poses an enormous threat to the the 71 million people across the globe who have been displaced by violence and a ceasefire of all arms must take place to ensure that they can be reached with life-saving aid."
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Guterres said he hoped action taken to stop conflict could help refugees, women, children, and other marginalized communities in warzones get the help they need to survive—including better delivery of humanitarian and medical aid.
"End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world," said Guterres. "It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. That is what our human family needs, now more than ever."
Progressives welcomed the declaration.
"U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres' call for a global ceasefire prioritizes people over profit, healthcare over warfare, and solidarity over global isolation," tweeted CodePink. "Divest from war."