UN chief calls for halt to armed conflict worldwide, focus on 'true fight of our lives'

UN chief calls for halt to armed conflict worldwide, focus on 'true fight of our lives'
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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday that the world should declare a global cease-fire to focus on the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives,” Guterres said in a virtual news conference, Reuters reported.

“The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly. Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world,” he said.

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“The most vulnerable — women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced — pay the highest price,” Guterres added. “They are also at the highest risk of suffering devastating losses from COVID-19.”

The U.N. head warned that international conflicts in countries such as Syria, Yemen and Libya have caused the collapse of health care infrastructure, leaving both the victims of war and coronavirus patients in those regions particularly vulnerable.

“End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world,” he reportedly said. “It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.”

More than 351,000 cases of the virus and over 15,330 deaths have been confirmed worldwide as of Monday, according to a Reuters tally.