On 23 March 2020 the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, appealed to all warring parties across the world to lay down their arms in support of the bigger battle against COVID-19 — the common enemy that is now threatening all of humankind. 
“The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war”, he said. “That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.”
In the following days Russia joined Guterres’ appeal  and this was echoed by others, for example UNICEF Executive-Director Henrietta Fore .
On 3 April Guterres reported  that “a substantial number of parties to conflict have expressed their acceptance for the call. [These] include parties to conflict in the following countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Libya, Myanmar, Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen. But,” he went on, “there is a huge distance between declarations and deeds — between translating words into peace on the ground and in the lives of people. There are enormous difficulties to implementation as conflicts have festered for years and distrust is deep, with many spoilers and many suspicions. We know that any initial gains are fragile and easily reversible. And in many of the most critical situations, we have seen no let-up in fighting, and some conflicts have even intensified.”
Generally the groups that answered the call were interested in talking with governments to end those conflicts, so they wanted a pretext. They wanted cover to explore ways of coming out of violence. So helping the UN to combat the pandemic was a good reason to do so. 
But early adopters of the ceasefire also included the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the National Liberation Army (in Spanish, Ejército de Liberación Nacional, or ELN) in Colombia, both of whom appear genuinely concerned by COVID-19’s health risks and economic consequences for the people they say they represent. 
However there were major setbacks. The UN was initially hopeful of using COVID-19 to advance a ceasefire and restart a political process in Yemen, for example, but the violence escalated. UN efforts to support a COVID-related ceasefire in Libya appeared to have derailed completely. In Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Mali and Colombia, among other hot spots, fighting continued unabated .
Security Council Conflicts
A Security Council resolution would offer additional political backing to those actors who are prepared to cooperate with the Secretary-General’s initiative, but so far no resolution has been agreed. Problems arose soon after Guterres made his appeal.
A resolution tabled before the Security Council by France was rejected, apparently because the U.S.demanded that it refer to the Chinese origins of the virus . A proposal by Estonia for a less weighty Council press statement on the coronavirus failed when China, supported by South Africa, argued that the illness was not properly a matter of “peace and security”.
Distressed at the Security Council’s inaction, ambassadors from Ghana, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland presented a resolution which was accepted by the General Assembly on 2 April expressing support for a strong and unified response to the pandemic.   However, it did not mention the disease’s impact on conflicts. 
There were weeks of contentious negotiations that paralyzed the Security Council as Washington and Moscow opposed efforts by Guterres and key Western allies to promote a sweeping global ceasefire resolution  . Both the US and Russia said they favoured cease-fires in a range of conflict zones but both governments feared that a universal cease-fire could potentially constrain their own efforts to mount what they considered legitimate counterterrorism operations overseas. The United States was also concerned that a blanket cease-fire could have inhibited Israel’s ability to engage in military operations throughout the Middle East.
On 5 May, France and Tunisia put forward a draft Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in major conflicts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. But diplomats say a vote has been held up primarily over a dispute between the United States and China on including a reference to the World Health Organization .
Donald Trump suspended funding to WHO in early April , accusing the agency of failing to stop the virus from spreading when it first surfaced in China, saying it “must be held accountable,’’ and accusing WHO of parroting Beijing.
But China strongly supports WHO and is insisting that its role in calling for global action on COVID-19 be included in any resolution, diplomats say, while the U.S. insists on a reference to “transparency” on COVID-19 and no mention of the WHO.
“It’s a moment of truth for the United Nations and the multilateral system which faces the most difficult crisis the U.N. has been confronted with since World War II,” Tunisia’s UN Ambassador Kais Kabtani said.
The latest news as this is written (9 May) is that the UN Security Council will meet soon in closed session to have another go at getting the draft. “Then of course it has to be voted on by the Security Council and so we may yet get something,” said Richard Cockett, a senior editor at the Economist . “This may not happen very fast, it may not be a very good resolution in the end, but having a resolution at this point in time is better than not having one at all.
“The main reason Guterres made this appeal in the first place” Cockett said “was that most of these conflicts are happening generally in the poorest countries, usually with the poorest health systems and so the least able to cope with the pandemic. South Sudan, the world’s newest country in Africa, where one of the armed groups declared a ceasefire, have about 12 million people and four ventilators in the whole country at the last count in mid-April. So these countries are supremely under-prepared to cope with any sort of pandemic. Peace is a very important prerequisite for any health care system to work.”