Sunday 09 August 2020 - 1:28:48 pm

Security Council adopts resolution calling for global ceasefire to combat COVID-19


NEW YORK, 2nd July, 2020 (WAM) -- The Security Council on Wednesday echoed the Secretary-General’s call for a worldwide ceasefire, to combat the coronavirus pandemic that has already claimed more than half a million lives. The UN chief welcomed the long-awaited move, calling for countries to "redouble their efforts for peace".

Unanimously adopting resolution 2532 (2020) on Wednesday, the 15-member peace and security body demanded "a general and immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations, on its agenda."

It also voiced its support for efforts by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres – who first appealed for a global ceasefire on 23rd March – towards that goal.

The unprecedented extent of the novel coronavirus pandemic "is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security", it said, adding that it could also set back peacebuilding and development gains in countries emerging from conflict.

The two-page resolution – drafted by France and Tunisia - was adopted 111 days after the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic.

Through the resolution, the Council called upon all parties to armed conflicts to immediately engage in a "durable humanitarian pause" of at least 90 days, to enable the safe, unhindered and sustained delivery of lifesaving aid.

It affirmed, however, that no ceasefire would apply for ongoing military operations against the extremist groups Daesh, Al Qaeda, the Al Nusra Front and other Council-designated terrorist groups.

It requested the Secretary-General to instruct the United Nations’ 13 peacekeeping missions to support host country efforts to contain the coronavirus, and to provide updates on UN efforts to address the pandemic in conflict zones and humanitarian crisis areas.

WAM/Rola Alghoul/MOHD AAMIR