President of the United Nations General Assembly, Amb. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, has reminded the world of the UN’s call for an immediate global ceasefire.
The reminder came in his message on Saturday to mark this year’s International Day of Living Together in Peace, observed on May 16 every year.
The day was declared by the General Assembly in 2017 to promote world peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity.
“Today, we are facing the most challenging crisis since the Second World War.
“COVID-19 and its social and economic fallouts threatens the maintenance of international peace and security, potentially leading to an increase in social unrest and violence.
“The United Nations has called for an immediate global ceasefire to work together on defeating the actual, clear enemy: the pandemic.
“It is time to silence the guns and bring hope to those who are most vulnerable,” he appealed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued the global ceasefire appeal on March 23.
No fewer than 100 member-states have endorsed the call, but armed conflicts persist in several countries including Syria and Libya.
Guterres admitted this in April when he said in spite of “nominal support” in some countries, “there is still a distance between declarations and deeds in many countries”
Russia and the United States are reportedly blocking efforts to win a UN Security Council backing for the proposed global ceasefire.
Both countries’ positions stem from their concerns that such a measure would undermine their military operations against terrorist groups in Libya, Syria and Iraq.
Muhammad-Bande, who is Nigeria’s Ambassador to the UN, urged member-states that have not endorsed the call to do so as an example to others.
According to him, the world is watching and looking up to the UN to show leadership in these trying times.
“Over 100 Member States, diverse regional and religious organisations, and more than 200 civil society groups have endorsed this call so far.
“We must coherently act to deliver our mandates – maintaining peace through our 95,000 peacekeepers deployed around the world.
“We must ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches more than 110 million people in 57 countries.
“We must continue to develop new strategies to sustain peace,” the Nigerian envoy said.
Noting that the challenges currently facing the world were enormous, the PGA emphasised that international solidarity and cooperation was needed to overcome them.
He added that endorsing the call was a critical step in the “struggle to protect the most vulnerable, women and children, the poor and the disabled already impacted disproportionately by armed conflict”.
he disabled already impacted disproportionately by armed conflict”.