New UN Chief Launches Appeal for Peace as He Takes Office

تم نشره في Sun 1 January / Jan 2017. 01:00 AM
  • New UN Chief, Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres - (Petra)

NEW YORK — Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres launched Appeal for Peace, in which he called on everybody to overcome differences and have peace.

In his first statement, Guterres said "On my first day as Secretary-General of the United Nations, one question weighs heavily on my heart. How can we help the millions of people caught up in conflict, suffering massively in wars with no end in sight?" Civilians are pounded with deadly force, he said, adding that women, children and men are killed and injured, forced from their homes, dispossessed and destitute. Even hospitals and aid convoys are targeted.

"No one wins these wars; everyone loses. Trillions of dollars are spent destroying societies and economies, fuelling cycles of mistrust and fear that can last for generations. Whole regions are destabilized and the new threat of global terrorism affects us all".

"On this New Year’s Day, I ask all of you to join me in making one shared New Year’s resolution: Let us resolve to put peace first. Let us make 2017 a year in which we all – citizens, governments, leaders – strive to overcome our differences," the UN chief said.

"From solidarity and compassion in our daily lives, to dialogue and respect across political divides From ceasefires on the battlefield, to compromise at the negotiating table to reach political solutions Peace must be our goal and our guide".

"All that we strive for as a human family – dignity and hope, progress and prosperity – depends on peace. But peace depends on us," he added.

"I appeal to you all to join me in committing to peace, today and every day," Guterres concluded.

Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, took office on 1st January 2017. Prior to his election as Secretary-General, Mr Guterres served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, heading one of the world’s foremost humanitarian organizations during some of the most serious displacement crises in decades. The conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and the crises in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Yemen, led to a huge rise in UNHCR’s activities as the number of people displaced by conflict and persecution rose from 38 million in 2005 to over 60 million in 2015.