COVID-19 Fast Becoming Protection Crisis, UN Chief Warns Security Council
The high-level debate, convened by Germany as president for July, follows the Council’s passage on Wednesday of resolution 2532 (2020), which demands a general and immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations on its agenda.
Secretary-General @antonioguterres welcomes the adoption by the @UN Security Council of its resolution on #COVID19 and the Council’s recognition of his efforts to respond to the crisis, in particular his appeal for a global ceasefire. Read our policy note: https://t.co/r4O8qMQ5b7 pic.twitter.com/POZwGC5Byx— UN Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (@UNDPPA) July 1, 2020
Trust ErodedThe risks are diverse, the UN chief said. Trust in public institutions is being eroded in places where people perceive that authorities have not addressed the pandemic effectively or have not been transparent about its impact. As grievances become more entrenched, the potential for instability and violence only grows. In some places, fragile peace processes could be derailed if the international community is distracted, he said. In Sudan’s restive Darfur region, the pandemic has led to repeated extensions of the deadline for completing the Juba peace process. Elsewhere, he said terrorist and violent extremist groups see the uncertainty created by the pandemic as a tactical advantage. In Somalia, there is a risk that Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab, could increase its attacks while security forces, by necessity, focus on the pandemic
COVID and The VoteMany countries have had to consider how to move ahead with elections slated for 2020 while trying to manage the health crisis. In the Central African Republic, attempts to use the pandemic as a pretext to postpone elections planned for year-end are creating tensions. Collective security and a shared wellbeing are under assault on many fronts, led by a relentless disease and abetted by global fragilities. “Our challenge is to save lives today while buttressing the pillars of security for tomorrow,” he said, expressing his support for the Council in any way possible as it carries out its essential part of the response.
Needs Are Vast, GrowingPeter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said his organization sees first-hand how COVID-19 is deepening fragility, spiking humanitarian needs, accelerating the impact of violence in conflict and reversing hard-won development gains. It is clear that pandemics cannot be addressed only as a health issue.
Health Care at Gunpoint ‘Futile’Sharing lessons for humanitarian response, he said international humanitarian law must be respected in order to protect civilians from pandemics. Countries where health services are destroyed, stand little chance of fighting COVID-19. Healthcare workers - the first and last lines of defence - must be protected, he said, stressing that resolution 2286 (2016) will be “fruitless” if it does not result in meaningful behaviour change on the ground. Credit - UN