Kitty Arie, Save the Children’s Global Campaigns, Advocacy and Communications Director, said:
“Save the Children welcomes the UN Security Council’s historic but long overdue Resolution on COVID-19 that calls for an immediate end to hostilities and for a humanitarian pause in conflict zones worldwide for at least the next 90 days.
“It has now been more than three months since the Secretary-General originally called for a global ceasefire to combat the pandemic, yet in that time armed groups across the globe have continued fighting, leaving millions of children and their families people suffering from the impacts of both war and COVID-19.
“Today’s Resolution puts these armed groups on notice, and if implemented it could prove lifesaving for the 415 million children currently living in active conflict zones. To this end, all parties to conflicts should immediately cease all hostilities - so that we can all focus on combating COVID-19, and so that humanitarian organisations like Save the Children can reach those in need.
“It is for the UN Security Council to make sure this humanitarian pause is upheld - armed groups who ignore this resolution must be held to account publicly. Save the Children strongly believes the humanitarian pause should apply to all active conflicts – the UNSC has exempted military operations against organisations designated as terrorist, but children in these conflicts suffer like any others, and they and their families deserve to be safe from the deadly combination of war and COVID-19.
“The participation of women and youth in responding to COVID-19 must also be guaranteed given the critical role they play in combating COVID-19 and the disproportionate negative impact of the crisis on women and girls.
“This temporary ceasefire can only be the beginning – ultimately, we need lasting and durable solutions for conflicts to stop the war on children. In the meantime, full access by humanitarian groups to those in need must to be guaranteed at all times. The world cannot afford to slide back into business as usual at the end of this 90-day pause.”
For media inquiries contact Evan Schuurman on 0406 117 937.