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COVID-19 and Ceasefires: What Have We Learned?

September 23, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

In March, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global cease-fire to combat the spread of COVID-19. Though initially dismissed as unrealistic, the secretary-general’s call was surprisingly well-received: Nearly 70 countries, hundreds of nongovernmental organizations, and eminent persons joined in repeating the call for a humanitarian pause to address the growing pandemic. In response, several conflict parties announced unilateral cease-fires, including the National Democratic Front in the Philippines, the Syrian Democratic Forces, and the National Liberation Army in Colombia. Two months later, the U.N. Security Council adopted resolution 2532, calling on conflict parties across the world to support a 90-day humanitarian ceasefires. However, since then, it has been challenging for any bilateral or multilateral cease-fires related to the pandemic to materialize, despite the spread of COVID-19 to numerous conflict zones, including Yemen and Syria.

Join USIP for a timely discussion on the strategies needed to pursue effective cease-fires in conflict zones. Drawing from recent reports, including the forthcoming USIP publication “Searching for COVID-19 Cease-fires: Conflict Zone Impacts, Needs, and Opportunities,” panelists will consider the correlation between political willpower and conflict resolution, how the secretary-general’s cease-fire appeal was perceived on the ground in conflict zones, and whether international pressure could make a difference in advancing the secretary-general’s call.


Christine Bell
Professor of Constitutional Law and Assistant Principal, The University of Edinburgh School of Law

Ashish Pradhan
Senior Analyst, U.N. Advocacy and Research, International Crisis Group

Tyler Thompson
Senior Expert, Negotiations and Peace Process Support, U.S. Institute of Peace

More information and register now:



September 23, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category: