UN Secretary-General António Guterres to Andrea Riccardi: "Thank you for your work for peace and support for a global cease-fire to fight the COVID-19 pandemic"

with full text of the letter

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, wrote a letter to the founder of Sant'Egidio, Andrea Riccardi, in which - thanking for support for the United Nations' appeal to bring about a global ceasefire in the time of the coronavirus - encourages the Community to continue its commitment to peace in various areas of the world, particularly in South Sudan. We report the text


14 May 2020

Dear Professor Riccardi,

I would like to thank you for your letter of 10 April 2020 supporting my appeal for a global ceasefire to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been encouraged by the response the appeal has received from world leaders and governments across the globe, as well as regional partners and civil society, religious leaders and faith-based organizations like the Community of Sant’Egidio. It is particularly significant that the appeal has prompted positive responses from a number of conflict parties.

Regrettably, conflicts persist, challenging our efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Many who could heed the call for a ceasefire have opted instead to seek gains on the battlefield. I know that you share my concern for those disproportionately impacted by conflict and who have been made more vulnerable by COVID-19, particularly women who are bearing the burden of care during the pandemic, as well as children, refugees and the internally displaced and other marginalized groups.

The United Nations will continue to engage with all conflict actors, governments and those with influence to help warring parties move from statements of good intention or tentative ceasefires towards ending wars and achieving lasting political solutions. I deeply appreciate the readiness of your organization to engage religious, political and community leaders and other networks to build momentum towards peace, as you have done recently in South Sudan and elsewhere.


Antonio Guterres