“Climate change is moving faster than we are. Inequalities are growing. We see horrific violations of human rights. Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise.”
Those were the disturbing words of UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Sunday, December 31, 2017 in a New Year message to the world.
In the note, wherein the world’s premier civil servant expressed reservation of a range of unsavoury developments, Guterres said: “On New Year’s Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert – a red alert for our world.’’
The UN chief expressed regret that, in 2017, the world went in reverse to the appeal for peace. He said that when he assumed office one year ago, he had appealed for 2017 to be a year for peace. “Conflicts have deepened and new dangers have emerged. Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War.
As the world begins 2018, the UN chief called for global unity. Guterres added that he truly believed we could make our world more safe and secure.
“We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values. But we can only do that together,” he said.
The UN chief urged leaders everywhere to make this New Year’s resolution: “Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals.”
Guterres, who assumed office on Jan. 1, 2017, stressed that, in 2018, “unity is the path” adding, “our future depends on it”.
“I wish you peace and health in 2018. Thank you. Shokran. Xie Xie. Merci. Spasiba. Gracias. Obrigado,” the ninth UN chief concluded.