"The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war"

"I am calling for an immediate globaI. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives – the COVID19 pandemic."

Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19. 

The virus does not care about ethnicity 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.

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. 

Speech by
Author
António Guterres
Secretary-General of the United Nations
António Guterres
UN entities involved in this initiative
UN
United Nations