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Guterres Warns COVID-19 Outbreak Risks New Conflicts

Guterres Warns COVID-19 Outbreak Risks New Conflicts

Thursday, 13 August, 2020 - 10:00
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses the London Somalia Conference' at Lancaster House, May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jack Hill/Pool

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that the new coronavirus pandemic not only threatens gains in fighting poverty and building peace but also risks exacerbating existing conflicts and generating new ones.

The UN chief told a Security Council meeting that his March 23 call for an immediate cease-fire in conflicts to tackle the virus led a number of warring parties to deescalate or stop fighting.

However, he said, that the virus outbreak did not lead to permanent ceasefire.

“Regrettably, in many instances, the pandemic did not move the parties to suspend hostilities or agree to a permanent ceasefire,” he said, The Associated Press reported.

Guterres predecessor as secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, told the council it is astonishing that the world has locked down billions of people, closed borders and suspended trade, but has failed to put conflicts on hold.

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