Ceasefires - Should Conflict Stop During a Global Pandemic?

Sofia L.

(Image source: https://www.ft.com/content/0209306c-8861-11ea-a01c-a28a3e3fbd33)

A ceasefire is an agreement between two nations to stop a conflict so that both nations can focus on themselves and help provide peace for their country. In the response to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, a ceasefire recently proposed by the United Nations was accepted by many nations.

 

The UN decided to propose this idea to help countries in need, such as Yemen. Most countries complied with the request and decided to respect the UN’s proposal, however, some didn’t. For example, the long-term fight going on between the Houthi rebels and forces loyal to the exiled government continued in Yemen despite the UN’s efforts to stop it.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, stated, “to silence the guns, we must raise the voices for peace.” He mentioned that, due to the pandemic, there should be a global ceasefire and hopefully by the end of 2020, all countries will have stopped their conflicts. Since March, 180 countries have already compromised and made peace so that they can focus on their country and provide help for those who have been affected by COVID-19.
These ceasefires not only help the country and its people but also prevent the virus from spreading, helping the country avoid further harm in these difficult times.
 

 

During the debate of this issue in the second committee of Special Conference, a clause was proposed by Germany that stated: “Designates the United Nations Security Council the responsibility of establishing clear terms in the global ceasefire, regarding dates, boundaries, and permissible activities in the area of ceasefire…” This was supported by various nations such as Germany and Ukraine, as said by both, “to maintain the security of the civilians.” By doing this, it was helping other countries improve their understanding of the ceasefires by establishing rules of what the countries must follow in order to ensure that the ceasefire is respected. The clause passed.
Another clause that was proposed was by the delegate of Ukraine, which “Urges the creation and immediate ratification of an order to establish entry into an international ceasefire for the duration of minimum 90 days upon the official classification of a global crisis.” This proposal was very agile and beneficial, giving a stable result so that once a country has been called for a ceasefire there would be a minimum of 90 days of peace. This clause was approved by many nations, which, as mentioned by some, brings peace and focus on the wellbeing of their citizens. However, not all delegates were completely sure about this clause, such as India, who stated, “there are countries that are not in the position to be in a 90-day ceasefire,” causing some controversy. However, since this clause promoted peace and stability, it passed.
Ceasefires are made to help the world become safer. As stated by the delegation of Germany, “ceasefires greatly aid a slower spread of COVID-19.” They are strongly recommended so that each country may focus on their citizens so that each country can take the necessary measures towards combating the crisis rather than focusing on conflicts.

 

Sources

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/06/1066982

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/14/fighting-escalates-in-yemen-despite-coronavirus-ceasefire

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/ceasefire

https://www.un.org/en/globalceasefire

https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/2020/data-shows-influence-of-pandemic-on-ceasefires

https://www.washingtonpost.com/gdpr-consent/?next_url=https%3a%2f%2fwww.washingtonpost.com%2fworld%2fmiddle_east%2flibya-ceasefire-un-tripoli-war%2f2020%2f10%2f23%2f86c04b88-151f-11eb-a258-614acf2b906d_story.html

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/10/1076002

https://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/cease-fire