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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres  (AFP or licensors)

UN Secretary-General calls for unity in facing challenges in 2018‎

In his New Year message, the UN Secretary-General says that the situation in the world has worsened ‎in many ways since he took office a year ago. ‎

By Robin Gomes

The United Nations Secretary-General is calling on the international community to be united in tackling serious issues facing humanity and in safeguarding common values.  “On New Year's Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert – a red alert for our world,” says UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his New Year message.

Problems have worsened

When Guterres took office on 1 January 2017, he had appealed that the year be one of peace.  “Unfortunately, in fundamental ways, the world has gone in reverse,” he says.‎ 

The UN Secretary-General ‎ says conflicts have deepened, new perils have emerged, threats about use of nuclear weapons have never been so high since the Cold War.  Meanwhile climate change has worsened, inequalities are growing and human rights continue to be violated.  “Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise.”

United around common goals

Despite the reverses, Guterres believes that the world can be made more safe and secure, conflicts can be settled, hatred can be overcome and shared values defended.  But all of this, he says, can only be achieved together.

‎“Unity is the path," the UN Secretary-General stresses, adding, "Our future depends on it.”   He thus urges leaders everywhere to narrow the gaps, bridge the divides and rebuild trust by bringing people together around ‎common goals.

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02 January 2018, 16:58