ICN joins Nobel Peace Prize laureates in calling for a ceasefire in Cameroon

23 June 2020

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International Council of Nurses has joined a group of Nobel Peace Prize laureates in urging the Cameroon government and separatist rebels to stop fighting to allow health workers to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic there.

ICN is backing the Global Campaign for Peace and Justice in Cameroon declaration which urges the African Union, the Commonwealth and La Francophonie to call on the government of Cameroon to declare a "COVID-19 ceasefire."

ICN CEO Howard Catton said, “Health is a human right and COVID-19 is a common enemy regardless of politics and ideology. The number of cases of the virus is escalating in Cameroon because the background of conflict and violence puts an unimaginable and terrifying pressure on front-line nurses and other health workers trying to deliver healthcare and tackle the virus. What is even more abhorrent is that nurses and others are putting their own lives at risk due to the deliberate targeting of healthcare workers and health facilities. ICN adds the voice of more than 20 million nurses worldwide to the distinguished Nobel Peace Prize laureates calling for a cessation of fighting in Cameroon and all other countries in conflict.”

The group of Nobel Peace Prize laureates and former heads of states includes – among others – the 2018 laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege; former president of South Africa FW de Klerk; and three former United States ambassadors to Cameroon. The declaration regarding Cameroon was made following the call by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who demanded a global ceasefire in countries in conflict so that they could focus on beating the pandemic.

In addition to ICN signatories to the declaration include:

Doctor Denis Mukwege Nobel Peace Prize 2018 Panzi Hospital and Foundation, Democratic Republic of the Congo and United States of America

Professor Muhammad Yunus Nobel Peace Prize 2006 Founder of the Grameen Bank, People’s Republic of Bangladesh

The Honourable José Ramos-Horta Nobel Peace Prize 1996 Former President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

The Honourable FW de Klerk Nobel Peace Prize 1993 Former President of the Republic of South Africa

The Honourable Oscar Arias Sánchez Nobel Peace Prize 1987 Former President of the Republic of Costa Rica

The Right Honourable Joe Clark Former Prime Minister of Canada Former Foreign Minister and Minister of Constitutional Affairs of Canada

The Honourable Ricardo Lagos Former President of Chile

The Right Honourable Harriet Baldwin, Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom Former United Kingdom Joint Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development

The Right Honourable Andrew Mitchell, Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom Former United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Development

US Ambassador (ret.) R. Niels Marquardt Former United States of America Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon

US Ambassador (ret.) John Yates Former United States of America Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon

US Ambassador (ret.) Harriet Isom Former United States of America Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon

Doctor Simon Adams Executive Director of The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, United States of America

Ms. Ewelina U. Ochab Co-Founder of the Coalition for Genocide Response, United Kingdom

To download the press release please click here.