Call from Members of the Nizami Ganjavi International Centre to the United Nations Security Council to Support the UN Secretary-General’s Urgent Call for an Immediate Global Ceasefire amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

We are deeply alarmed that the United Nations Security Council has not been able to reach agreement on a draft resolution put before it on COVID-19.

This draft resolution called for an end to hostilities worldwide so that there could be a full focus on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. If passed it would have given powerful backing to the call made earlier by the Secretary-General.

Yet, agreement could not be reached on the resolution in the Security Council because of its reference to “the urgent need to support…. all relevant entities of the United Nations system, including specialized health agencies” in the fight against the pandemic.

The failure to reach agreement saddens us at this time when our world is in crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about immense human suffering and is having a devastating impact on economies and societies.

It is exactly at times like this that the leadership of the Security Council is needed. It should not be silent in the face of the serious threat to global peace and security which Covid-19 represents. Global action and partnership are vital now to deal with the global pandemic and its aftermath. This is the time for the premier institution responsible for leading on global security to show strength, not weakness.

We support UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his call for an immediate global ceasefire, in all corners of the world, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Secretary-General’s appeal is urgent and well-founded:

  • Our world faces a common enemy, COVID-19.  The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith.  It attacks relentlessly and without discrimination. The pandemic it has caused is having wide-ranging negative impacts around the world. Every country and every nationality are affected.
  • Meanwhile, armed conflicts still rage in many parts of the world., and the most vulnerable — women and children, elderly people, people with disabilities, the marginalized, and the displaced, — continue to pay the highest price.  They are also among the groups at greatest the risk of suffering the devastating effects of COVID-19.
  • In war-ravaged countries, health systems have collapsed.  Health professionals, already few in number, have been targeted in many current conflicts.  Medical supplies and equipment are often scarce. Refugees and others displaced by violent conflict are doubly vulnerable.

It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and to come together to focus on the true fight of our lifetime: the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

To the warring parties, we say:  pull back from hostilities; put aside mistrust and animosity; silence the guns, stop the artillery, and end the airstrikes.

A global cessation of hostilities is essential to help create corridors for life-saving humanitarian assistance; to open precious windows for diplomacy, and to bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Now is the moment to put aside war and to fight instead the deadly disease that is ravaging our world.  It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere and stopping it now.  That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.

As members and friends of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, we are ready to do whatever we can to support the United Nations Secretary General in his efforts to sustain peace and prevent the deepening of hostilities.

As the UN celebrates its 75th Anniversary, there is overwhelming support for international partnership and co-operation to solve global challenges. But the United Nations Security Council must do its job and show a determination to support those fighting the pandemic and those who can support global economic recovery, social protection, and peacebuilding.

Signed:

  • • Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Latvia 1999-2007, Co-Chair NGIC
  • • Ismail Serageldin, Vice President of the World Bank 1992-2000, Co-Chair NGIC
  • • H.R.H Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan
  • • Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand 1999-2008, Administrator of UNDP 2009-2017
  • • Noeleen Heyzer, Member of the UN Secretary-General' s High Level Advisory Board on Mediation
  • • Kerry Kennedy, President Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
  • • Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on SDG
  • • Rashid Alimov, Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization 2016-2018
  • • Abdulaziz Altwaijri, former Director General ISESCO  
  • • Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister of Pakistan 2004-2007
  • • Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel 1999-2001
  • • Dora Bakoyannis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece 2006-2009, member of the Hellenic Parliament
  • • Sali Berisha, President of Albania 1992-1997, Prime Minister 2005-2013
  • • Dumitru Bragish, Prime Minister of Moldova 1999-2001
  • • James Bolger, Prime Minister of New Zealand 1990-1997
  • • Robert Cekuta, Ambassador of USA to Azerbaijan 2015-2018
  • • Hikmet Cetin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey 1991-1994, Speaker of Parliament 1997-1999
  • • Emil Constantinescu, President of Romania 1996-2000
  • • Mirko Cvetkovic, Prime Minister of Serbia 2008-2012
  • • Susan Elliott, President and CEO, National Committee on American Foreign Policy
  • • Jan Fisher, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic 2009-2010
  • • Shafik Gabr, Chairman and Managing Director of the ARTOC Group for Investment and Development
  • • Nathalie de Gaulle, Founder of Societer & NG-INOV, Founder under 40
  • • Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius 2015-2018
  • • Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation 2004-2014
  • • Dalia Itzik, President of Knesset Israel 2006-2009, President 2007
  • • Gjorge Ivanov, President of North Macedonia 2009-2019
  • • Ivo Josipovic, President of Croatia 2010-2015
  • • Mats Karlsson, Vice President of the World Bank 1999-2002
  • • Igor Khalevinskiy, Ambassador at Large 1997-2008, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • • Jadranka Kosor, Prime Minister of Croatia 2009-2011
  • • Rodi Kratsa, Governor of Ionian islands, First Vice President European Parliament 2007-2009
  • • Zlatko Lagumdzija, Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina 2001-2002, deputy Prime Minister 2012-2015
  • • Yves Leterme, Prime Minister of Belgium 2008, 2009-2011
  • • Budimir Lonchar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of SFR Yugoslavia 1987-1991
  • • Petru Lucinschi, President of Moldova 1997-2001
  • • Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia 2013-2018
  • • Rexhep Meidani, President of Albania 1997-2002, Member of the Academy of Sciences
  • • Stjepan Mesic, President of Croatia 2000-2010
  • • Peter Medgyessy, Prime Minister of Hungary 2002-2004
  • • David Merkel, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Director for South and Central Asian Affairs at the National Security Council in the White House
  • • Amre Moussa, Secretary General Arab League 2001-2011, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt 1991-2001
  • • Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta 2013-2020
  • • Rovshan Muradov, Secretary General NGIC
  • • Bujar Nishani, President of Albania 2012-2017
  • • Djoomart Otorbayev, Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan 2014-2015
  • • Francis O’Donnell, Ambassador (ret.), Institute of International & European Affairs (Ireland)
  • • Ana Palacio, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain 2002-2004
  • • George Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece 2009-2011
  • • Elsa Papademetriou, former Vice President of the Hellenic Parliament
  • • David Pan, Executive Dean Scwarzman College, Tsinghua University
  • • Georgi Parvanov, President of Republic of Bulgaria 2002-2012
  • • Rosen Plevneliev, President of Bulgaria 2012-2017
  • • Oscar Ribas, Prime Minister of Andorra 1982-84; 1990-94
  • • Petre Roman, Prime Minister of Romania 1989-1991, Speaker of Parliament 1996-2000
  • • Rosalia Arteago Serrano, President of Ecuador 1997
  • • Petar Stoyanov, President of Bulgaria 1997-2002
  • • Laimdota Straujuma, Prime Minister of Latvia 2014-2016
  • • Boris Tadic, President of Serbia 2004-2012
  • • Eka Tkeshelashvili, deputy Prime Minister of Georgia 2010-2012
  • • Cassam Uteem, President of Mauritius 1992-2002
  • • Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO
  • • Filip Vujanovic, President of Montenegro 2003-2018
  • • Ernst Ulrich von Weizsacker, Co-President of the Club of Rome
  • • Carlos Westendorp, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain 1995-1996
  • • Yashar Yakish, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey 2002-2003, Amb. to UN office in Vienna, Egypt & Saudi Arabia 2002-2011
  • • Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  • • Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine 2005-2010
  • • Kateryna Yushchenko, First Lady of Ukraine 2005-2010, President Ukraine3000 Foundation
  • • Valdis Zatlers, President of Latvia 2007-2011