WASHINGTON — Win Without War Executive Director Stephen Miles released the following statement regarding UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s call for a “global ceasefire” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic:
“This week, the Secretary-General of the United Nations took the unprecedented step of calling for a global ceasefire. ‘The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war,’ he said. ‘That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global 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.’
“We couldn’t agree more.
“The coronavirus has made clear what everyday people around the world have long known: we cannot bomb our way to peace and safety. The greatest human security challenges of the 21st century — the climate crisis, global inequality, and yes, pandemics — don’t have military solutions. To continue to try to create peace through war in the midst of a global pandemic is the height of absurdity.
“We have seen before how the military-first approach responds to global health crises. One of the reasons for the 1918 flu pandemic’s deadly spread was an unwillingness of wartime leaders to confront the crisis for fear of undermining the war effort. We are once again seeing what happens when militarism is prioritized over human needs.
“The old, militaristic approach to global security has failed. To build a world of peace, prosperity, and health for all people, we must work together in global solidarity, both to mitigate this current crisis and enact long-term structural change. A global ceasefire is a critical step forward.”
Win Without War is a diverse network of activists and national organizations working for progressive foreign policy in the United States.