UN Secretary-General calls for an immediate global ceasefire

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres held videoconference on Monday calling for an immediate ceasefire in all corners of the world amid a global mobilization to counter the Coronavirus pandemic.

Guterres said the following: “Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19. The virus does not care about race or nationality, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly. Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world. The most vulnerable — women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced — pay the highest price. They are also at the highest risk of suffering devastating losses from COVID-19. Let’s not forget that in war-ravaged countries, health systems have collapsed. Health professionals, already few in number, have often been targeted. Refugees and others displaced by violent conflict are doubly vulnerable. The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war. End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world. 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 continued: “To warring parties, I say: Pull back from hostilities. Put aside mistrust and animosity. Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes. This is crucial… To help create corridors for life-saving aid. To open precious windows for diplomacy. To bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.”

SDF responds to UN call for global ceasefire
The General Command of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) released a statement responding to the United Nations’ call for an immediate global ceasefire amid an ongoing global campaign to counter the Covid-19 pandemic.

The statement by SDF includes the following;
“In light of the continuing threat of the coronavirus pandemic to the whole world, and in response to the appeal made by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres, the General Command of the Syrian Democratic Forces declares its commitment to global efforts which aim to combat coronavirus with support and effective response to this situation.

The current situation in the world indicates the magnitude of the deadly threat of COVID-19 and its rates of spread clearly, which the World Health Organization has classified as a global pandemic, putting all health departments and systems in the world under unprecedented test and stress.

Because of the collapse of the health sector and the deterioration of health facilities as a result of the war, the Syrian situation cannot bear more hostilities, and any renewal of hostilities will cause displacement waves that will affect the remaining health infrastructure, thereby accelerating the spread of the virus and increasing its lethality.

Based on this, the General Command of the Syrian Democratic Forces calls on all parties of the Syrian conflict to refrain from any military initiatives or actions, and to an immediate commitment to a humanitarian truce. For their part, our forces declare their commitment to a legitimate defense situation and avoid engaging in any military actions, and we hope that this humanitarian truce will help to open the door for dialogue and political solution and to put an end to the war in the world and Syria.

The General Command of the Syrian Democratic Forces confirms its commitment to guarantee an effective response to this crisis and facilitate the access of both local and international health workers to all areas controlled by our forces.”