In blocking the UN plan, the leaders of the US, China and Russia are responsible for more conflict and chaos

Two months have passed since António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, called on warring parties around the world to lay down their weapons and help fight another battle – against Covid-19. “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war,” Guterres said. “That is why I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire … It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown.” This was and remains an entirely sensible idea. The UN leader’s appeal received strong support from civil society groups, charities, churches and human rights organisations. In Colombia, the Philippines and South Sudan, armed groups initially heeded his call. But to their great shame, the US, China and Russia blocked the plan in the UN security council. They continue to do so.

Those who suggest a global ceasefire would be…

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