Global ceasefire could save world from COVID-19

A global ceasefire of all armed conflicts would help in the humanitarian battle against coronavirus (COVID-19), says Pope Francis.

An additional humanitarian response needs to come from every government in the world, “to avoid tragedies” that could result from Covid-19 spreading in overcrowded prisons, Francis says.

Francis issued these two passionate humanitarian appeals on Sunday.

He prayed “the common effort against the pandemic may bring everyone to recognize our need to strengthen the fraternal bonds as members of the one human family.”

In a message that was transmitted to a global audience, Francis said he associates himself “with all those who have accepted the appeal.”

He invited all parties in conflicts “to follow up on the appeal by stopping every form of warlike hostilities.”

He also called on leaders “to facilitate the creation of humanitarian corridors for aid, to open avenues of diplomacy and to attend “to those who find themselves in situations of great vulnerability.”

Francis’s appeals for humanitarian responses to the COVID-19 pandemic echoes last week’s calls from U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

He appealed to warring parties “to lay down their weapons.”

“It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives,” he said.

According to the 2020 report from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there were 41 active armed conflicts over the last year.

These include conflicts in Yemen, Syria, Libya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Venezuela.

Global powers, including the United States and Russia, are involved in many of them.

These conflicts have brought immense suffering to civilian populations.

Tens of millions of people have been displaced – internally and as refugees. Many suffer from hunger.

Francis prayed that “the common effort” against the coronavirus pandemic would make people realise “our need for fraternal bonds as members of one only family.”

He also said he hopes this global emergency may inspire the leaders of nations and armed groups to overcome rivalries.

He reminded everyone that “conflicts are not resolved through war” and that “it is necessary to overcome antagonisms and oppositions through dialogue and a constructive search for peace.”



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