U.N. Secretary General António Guterres made an unprecedented appeal on March 23 for “an immediate global cease-fire” to facilitate humanitarian access to the populations most vulnerable to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. This was the first global cease-fire request in the 75-year history of the United Nations.The response has been swift and wide-reaching — conflict parties across 12 countries have already declared some form of cease-fire. Some 70 countries have backed the appeal, along with prominent figures like the Pope, and nearly 200 organizations.Across the globe, this simultaneous series of commitments to suspend hostilities for a common purpose is altogether new. From Colombia to Sudan, the Philippines and Yemen, coronavirus cease-fires promise a break in hostilities to allow all parties to focus their efforts on the battle against the virus, as well as providing humanitarian assistance to those suffering from the coronavirus in areas of conflict.Yet the motivations underlying these arrangements vary. In some cases, the commitments to suspend fighting serve practical purposes beyond tackling the global spread of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.Here are the big questions: Can these types of cease-fires be effective? And could they help resolve previously intractable conflicts?Cease-fires related to


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