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By Jhon Sánchez
Last month, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called for a ceasefire to address the pandemic properly. “I am calling for an immediate ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives,” he said.
As a permanent member of the Security Council, President Macron from France was the first to express his support of the resolution. He is taking the lead to coordinate a video conference with the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, and he said during an interview for RFI, “President Xi Jinping confirmed his agreement to me,” said Macron. “President Trump confirmed his agreement to me. Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed his agreement to me. I think President Putin will definitely agree too.”
On April 18, Zhang Jung, the China U.N. ambassador tweeted:
China actively responds to @antonioguterres‘ appeals for global ceasefire, prevention and redress of violence against women, the Global Humanitarian Response Plan and @UN Communications Response Initiative. China also co-sponsored GA resolutions on #COVID19.
— Zhang Jun (@ChinaAmbUN) April 17, 2020
The United States may be the major obstacle for the approval of the resolution because of its most recent policies, such as defunding WHO and Unicef. Many express their frustration toward Donald Trump and see how the USA had lost leadership in the international arena. Ryan Kaminski tweeted:
Where’s U.S. global leadership on #COVID19?
❌ Supporting the WHO
❌ Co-sponsoring UN General Assembly Solidarity Resolution
❌ Oral statement at virtual UN Human Rights Council meeting
❌ Endorsing UN Secretary General’s Call for Global Ceasefirehttps://t.co/gfvYPWR2B4
— Ryan Kaminski (@rykaminski) April 14, 2020
However, the hope for peace remains. Different groups agreed with a ceasefire, for example, the Kurdish-Led Syrian Democratic Forces and The New People’s Army, a Philippine rebel group.
Perhaps, the possibility of a ceasefire lies among people and different groups in combat and why not—the signing of concrete peace treaties. This already happened during World War I in what it’s called the Christmas Truce. Everything started because soldiers got into a tacit agreement to cease fire every day during breakfasts. It was just a short time during the day, but in the British and the Germans just waited until the other side sang their National Anthem to start shooting. This small act of mutual trust evolved to a German-British Christmas celebration, and after that, the soldiers refused to shoot to their friends. This lasted until their Generals found out. Being in the business of war, the Generals ordered the soldiers to shoot and bring a corpse. It was in that way that the ‘leaders’ destroyed the possibility of peace. It has always been like that: Presidents who blocked UN resolutions or leaders who preferred blood over mutual agreements. The people who are in the trenches could see the absurdity of war during brief times of trust. This pandemic may help us to recognize that we fight against an enemy who is simply another person like one of us, a person who also needs breakfast.
Jhon Sánchez: A Colombian Born, Mr. Sánchez, arrived in NYC seeking political asylum where he is now a lawyer. His short stories are available in Midway Journal, The Meadow, Newfound, Fiction on the Web, among others. In February, Teleport published his short story ‘Handy.’ The DeDramafi, was published on The Write Launch, and Storylandia will reprint it in issue 36. He was awarded the Horned Dorset Colony for 2018 and the Byrdcliffe Artist Residence Program for 2019. In 2021, New Lit Salon Press will publish his collection Enjoy Pleasurable Death and Other Stories that Will Kill You. For updates, please visit the Facebook page @WriterJhon