Bishops of Asia join call for UN Global Ceasefire

Cardinal Bo

Report from Independent Catholic News

The Bishops of Asia have joined the call of the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres and Pope Francis, for a global ceasefire in the face of the unprecedented threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon and President of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC), said in a statement that they were calling for “an end to hostilities worldwide”. Without cessation of fighting everywhere, “the suffering of many will be prolonged the world over and healing delayed indefinitely.”

The Cardinal said: “The whole planet is in crisis. The pandemic’s consequences are catastrophic for public health and for social and economic life. If we truly wish Myanmar to emerge a united, peaceful, prosperous people, now is the time for speedy, aggressive, respectful decision. Now is the time for wise, coherent, future oriented action. This is no time to escalate conflict, but to end the disease of war that is devastating our world.”

The message takes up the words addressed by Pope Francis who, visiting Myanmar in 2017, recalled that “conflicts are not resolved through war and antagonism, and differences must be overcome through dialogue and a constructive search for peace.”

Referring to Myanmar, the Archbishop of Yangon said: “Myanmar’s national and ethnic group leaders are able to choose between the path that seeks trust and cooperation for the good of all and so unite the nation,” but he notes that “heightened military operations, by whatever sides, contradict all these enlightened initiatives. Civilians are endangered, even by bombardments purportedly aimed at military targets. An economy under severe strain is put at risk by military adventures. Any spike in contagion in IDP camps, among detained persons, or in crowded spaces, gravely threatens the surrounding populations as well.”

“The fury of the virus illustrates the madness of war,” the Cardinal said, quoting Antonio Guterres.

The message praises nations in various parts of the world that have already responded positively to the call for peace, such as Cameroon, the Philippines, Yemen and Syria. It urges all armed groups to lay down their arms and arm themselves with sincerity and truth” and take “the most difficult path of overcoming differences face to face with courage and intelligence.”

Westminster Justice & Peace Campaigns

Have You Signed the Petitions?

Thank you to those who have signed the petitions for the UN Global Ceasefire and Jubilee Debt Campaign!

It only takes a short amount of your time but really does make a difference.

Colette Joyce, Justice and Peace Co-ordinator, says: “In these days of crisis, a great number of online petitions have been pouring into the Commission inbox and I have been signing and promoting as many as possible to beg for social change at home and abroad, but found it isn’t easy to keep current when policy is changing on an almost daily basis. We strongly encourage people to continue to put immediate pressure on governments to make urgent and essential policy improvements, but we decided we needed to look at the big picture as well, to see what large-scale changes need to be made in the longer term to move us away from daily fire-fighting.

The COVID19 pandemic is laying bare the staggering inequalities between human beings and the huge injustices that maintain our structurally unfair societies. At the same time, we have discovered that despite, maybe even because of lockdown, there is an increasing capacity for universal co-operation. Now is the time to harness it for the greater good!”

Fr Dominic Robinson, SJ, Justice and Peace Chair, writes: “Pope Francis is urging us to recognise how on a global scale now is the time to make choices which will build a new more human future. The current global crisis requires us to put aside our past divisions and to work together for the health of the whole human race. This requires us to cancel the debt of the poorer nations and to put an end to conflicts between peoples. It is our hope that this radical call will be heeded by those who have the power to bring this about.”

No-one is safe until everyone is safe!

Full report from Independent Catholic News

Pax Christi International joins Pope Francis and UN in call for global ceasefire

“We are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples … so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.” Pope Francis, 27 March 2020

Responding to the words of Pope Francis, Pax Christi International has joined the United Nations in calling for a Global Ceasefire. More…

An international peace-building process is now in place to arrange truces in every conflict zone.

A notable milestone was reached on 9th April 2020 when Pax Christi and 59 other organisations issued a statement in response to the announcement of a temporary ceasefire in Yemen. The cessation of hostilities is only a first step and the statement called for an immediate end to restrictions and interference to humanitarian aid to provide urgent medical care and measures to prevent the spread of COVID19.

The Westminster Justice & Peace Commission encourage you to add your voice by signing the Avaaz petition for a Global Ceasefire

UN Global Ceasefire Update

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres last month issued an appeal for a global ceasefire amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In a new update, he reports progress in a number of areas. Warning that gains are fragile, he pledges a strong diplomatic push for combatants to lay down their arms. The Secretary-General’s call has been endorsed by all United Nations Messengers of Peace and Advocates for the Sustainable Development Goals as well as more than a million other people around the world.

Well worth clicking on the video – it takes just 1 minute, 40 seconds of your time and is a stirring tribute to the possibility of ending armed conflict while we turn our resources to eradicating our invisible viral enemy.

UN Secretary General calls for Global Ceasefire

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres is calling for an immediate Global Ceasefire. He points out the utter futility of continuing conflict and violent loss of life at a time when people of every nation around the world are trying to protect and preserve life threatened by the pandemic.

To read the full text visit the UN website

The online action group Avaaz have started a petition in support of the UN call. To sign go to