UN Secretary-General António Guterres Takes Office

Posted at 11:17 am on 01/14/2017 by GAA News

          
"UN Secretary-General António Guterres Takes Office

On January 1, António Guterres officially assumed the role of Secretary-General of the United Nations. He began his term by appealing to the world to make 2017 "a year for peace."

On his first day as the new United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for peace in the world.

"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," Guterres said in a video address.

He appealed for the world to make the year "a year for peace".

Guterres suggested that this could be done by maintaining "ceasefires on the battlefield to compromise at the negotiating table to reach political solutions" adding that for all world leaders "peace must be our goal and our guide".

Guterres takes over from South Korean diplomat Ban Ki-moon, who was secretary-general from 2007 to the end of 2016. A Portuguese politician and diplomat, Guterres was formerly the UN high commissioner for refugees.

He was sworn-in to his new role on 12 December and was elected to the job by the UN General Assembly. New Year's Day is Guterres's first day on the job as secretary-general.

António Guterres' full remarks:

"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. Women children and men are killed and injured forced from their homes, dispossessed, and destitute. And 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. And whole regions are destabilised 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.

"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.

"I appeal to you all to join me in committing to peace today and every day. Let us make 2017 a year for peace."


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