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A time for a welcomed leadership: The United Nations Secretary-General’s Appeal for Global Ceasefire

3 Apr 2020 8:25

GAAMAC Chair Statement 

Global Action Against Mass Atrocities (GAAMAC) fully supports the United Nations Secretary-General’s Appeal for Global Ceasefire to “put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives”.

This call has already been supported by 53 members states. Since the Appeal, three ceasefires are on the frontlines.

  • The New People’s Army guerrillas in the Philippines declared they would observe a ceasefire from March 26 to April 15.
  • The Southern Cameroons Defence Forces of the Ambazonian separatist movement declared a ceasefire starting Sunday March 29.
  • On March 30, the National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group in Colombia announced a one-month ceasefire.

We join Secretary-General Guterres in calling on all armed actors, states and non-state, to declare a ceasefire, allow and support humanitarian aid to reach the most vulnerable: Our human community can only be called “human” if we practice solidarity and attend NOW to those most in despair and in need of peace!

Thus, we encourage you to do the following:

- If your government has not signed this appeal, ask your government to sign it.

- If your government has signed this appeal, ask your government to implement it,

- Request all armed groups or belligerents in your country and region to join this global call and declare a unilateral cease-fire

On another note, the head of the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations, and the U.N. special adviser on the prevention of genocide, issued a joint statement expressing concern over the increase in stigma, hate speech and hate crimes over the pandemic: they call upon us to “avoid this pandemic to tear apart the fabric of our societies”.

As a Community of Commitment, we can already contribute to design a better post-Covid-19, with a renewed vision for a shared common future. Concretely, today we can strengthen the capacities of our societies and the international community to identify a joint agenda for action:

  • Regarding the global ecological issues: we can engage in a new relationship with our mother earth. Let us really listen to our sisters and brothers notably indigenous who have warned us for decades about the human-made catastrophe that we are generating.
  • Regarding exclusion, discrimination: we can engage to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • And of course, at the heart of our actions, we shall push for the full implementation of human rights and for the establishment of permanent, tangible prevention policies and mechanisms.

Colleagues, partners and members of the Community of Commitment, this is an important moment in contemporary history, where we  need to show that it is possible to stand together, to practice solidarity, to act consistently against the destruction of social fabric and to protect the most vulnerable. This is prevention in action!

Mô Bleeker, GAAMAC Chair