LWF urges Security Council to implement global ceasefire
Junge urges UN to strengthen efforts to end armed conflicts and enable robust action against COVID-19 pandemic
(LWI) - The General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Rev. Dr Martin Junge, has written to the United Nations Security Council urging it to strengthen efforts towards a global ceasefire and enable robust action against the COVID-19 pandemic in the most vulnerable countries.
In a letter addressed to the five permanent members of the Security Council, Junge stresses that as a leading humanitarian organization, working in cooperation with the UNHCR, the LWF is “painfully aware how on-going armed conflicts and hostilities in different parts of the world represent a significant impediment to stopping the spread of the virus.”
The Lutheran leader said he was encouraged by the 1 July resolution of the Security Council calling for an “immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations on its agenda” in order to provide humanitarian aid to countries struggling with the consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Growing call from churches
The latest LWF appeal comes as part of a growing plea from churches and faith groups for the implementation of a global ceasefire, first called for by UN Secretary General António Guterres on 23 March. Both Pope Francis and Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby have voiced similar calls in recent days for an immediate end to hostilities in order to allow humanitarian assistance to reach vulnerable communities.
In his letter, Junge notes that on 11 May, the LWF issued a statement together with its partner, Islamic Relief Worldwide, to support Guterres' appeal for a global ceasefire. “As a faith-based organization, engaged in life-saving and community empowering work,” he insists, “we are convinced that war and violence do not solve conflicts, but exacerbate them.”
Armed conflict severely constrains the efforts of local, national and international organizations to protect refugees, displaced people, women, children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups from the spread of the virus.
Writing on behalf of the LWF’s 148 member churches, representing over 75.5 million Christians in 99 countries, Junge says the LWF is “very concerned about the continuing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has on people around the world.” Armed conflict severely constrains the efforts of local, national and international organizations to protect refugees, displaced people, women, children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups from the spread of the virus, he says.
The letter urges China, France, Russia, the UK and the U.S., as the five permanent members of the Security Council, to strengthen efforts and “provide leadership towards the implementation of Resolution 2532 (2020) and its call for immediate cessation of all hostilities to enable a robust COVID-19 response.”
The LWF, Junge concludes, “stands ready to support you while we continue our own efforts to support, protect and stand in solidarity with members of communities who are most vulnerable to conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Read the letter