The UN is concerned about the extra-sanitary implications of COVID-19

Security forces enforcing a curfew after an increase in cases in May 2020. Sanaa, Yemen  Security forces enforcing a curfew after an increase in cases in May 2020. Sanaa, Yemen Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

09 September 2020

Several United Nations (UN) officials have urged states to ensure adequate conditions in the most difficult contexts

UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo expressed her concern about the pandemic's impact on human rights, peace and security. UN Head of Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock reiterated that more than a third of the outbreaks are in contexts of humanitarian crisis where poverty and child mortality are increasing, while food supplies, life expectancy and access to education are decreasing.

In several countries, tensions have risen and peace and transitional processes have slowed down, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.In some contexts, restrictive measures have led to severe consequences for human rights and freedoms, with devastating and unequal economic effects. Moreover, the uneven provision of public services had drastic implications for the treatment of diseases such as malaria, HIV and AIDS. The ultimate result has been a major loss of trust in institutions where the fight against COVID-19 is perceived as ineffective or opaque.

The Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix called on all states to pursue a resolute and cooperative response to the challenges posed by the virus to governance and peace. In addition the fight against the virus is not only a moral imperative for peacekeeping missions, but an integral part of their mandate to stabilise and safeguard. The implementation of extra-sanitary measures by contingents and the promotion of ceasefires are essential to ensure the respect of the rights of individuals and to carry out peace processes.


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Author: Matteo Consiglio; Editor: Margherita Curti

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