Who should we be listening to? While Nato’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg based on a fictional enemy, is pleading for continued increased founding for military and militarisation another General Secretary speaks of the importance to put disagreements aside so we all side by side can fight against a real threat to humanity – the corona virus.
On March, 23 United Nation’s Secretary General António Guterres held a speech where he asked for an immediate global cease fire in all corners of the world to give everyone a real chance to fight the corona virus.
He talked about the reality where the virus hit us all. It does not care neither about ethnicity or nationality nor faction or faith; “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war.”
Around the world we see a severely cut healthcare system that is trying to deal with more and more people getting ill with COVID-19. Beds, equipment and personnel are missing to treat everyone. In this chaos, Guterres reminds us of something we must never forget; In war ravaged countries have the whole health systems collapsed and health professionals, already few in number, have often been targeted.
Recently, we have also started to hear warnings about what will happen when the corona virus takes an iron grip on overcrowded refugee camps around the world. Guterres states that refugees and others displaced by violent conflict are doubly vulnerable. He calls to;
“End the sickness of war… 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 of diplomacy. To bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.”
We would like to add that also all preparations for war must be stopped immediately and we must start investing in the future of humanity..
- Stop Defender 20, Aurora 20 and other large scale military exercises in Europe and elsewhere
- End rearmament and invest in peace, welfare, health and the environment
Activists for peace will every day choose the solidarity that the UN Secretary General raises by calling for an immediate global cease fire; “That is what our human family needs, now more than ever”.
If you agree, sign our call.
Antonio Guterres whole speech follows:
Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19.
The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, 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.
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.
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.
Let us take inspiration from coalitions and dialogue slowly taking shape among rival parties in some parts to enable joint approaches to COVID-19. But we need much more.
End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world.
It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now.
That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.
Guterras, Antonio: “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of the war”. March, 23 2020, United Nations Coronavirus Communications Team.
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