UN Calls for Global Ceasefire Until End of 2020
Windowofworld.com – United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will use his annual address to world leaders next week to call for a global ceasefire through the end of 2020.
He hoped the ceasefire would give countries time to fight the coronavirus pandemic. However, he said the opportunity would be lost because the presidents and prime ministers (PM) did not physically attend the UN meeting in New York.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to be at UN headquarters to help mark the 75th anniversary of the 193-member world institution.
The pandemic has made the UN meeting attended by only a few state leaders out of a total of 170 heads of state and government. Most will attend meetings by teleconference.
The UN meeting will be held for a week starting September 22. Only the President of the United States (US) said he wanted to give a speech in private on the first day. Guterres will also give his speech privately.
The meeting marked the beginning of a new session of the UN General Assembly which previously used to be preceded by a meeting of officials in hundreds of meetings held simultaneously.
“It is clear that diplomacy depends on a lot of human contact. And so we will lose because of that, especially for what is my first priority now, the implementation of a global ceasefire, “said Guterres told Reuters at the UN headquarters, New York.
Since the first call for a global ceasefire in March, when the coronavirus pandemic spreads, Guterres said there had been a positive signal with various agreements in Sudan, initial negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban, as well as an end to violence in Syria, Libya and Ukraine, as well as ceasefire negotiations in Yemen.
“There are a number of signs of hope, but we need to mobilize the entire international community to make this global ceasefire a reality by the end of the year,” said Guterres, the former Prime Minister of Portugal who began his five years as UN secretary general in 2017.