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UN Chief Guterres' New Year Message: Not an Appeal, a Red Alert for the World

© AP Photo / Khalil SenosiUN secretary general Antonio Guterres
UN secretary general Antonio Guterres - Sputnik International
The year 2017 has witnessed numerous brutal conflicts, devastating natural disasters and a surge of nationalism. On the eve of 2018, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is urging the world to unite in order to reverse the daunting course of events.

The Secretary General started his annual New Year message to the international community by saying that unlike the previous year's appeal, this time he is issuing "a red alert," as the scale of the threat facing the world is unprecedented.

On Nuclear Weapons

"Conflicts have deepened and new dangers have emerged. Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War," Guterres noted.

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This year, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has worsened drastically due to the North's nuclear activity and ICBM capabilities. In November, North Korea tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, which according to Pyongyang, would have been capable of hitting any part of the US. The world community responded with tough sanctions, but an amicable resolution to the conflict is nowhere in sight.

On Climate Change

Citing perils existing nowadays, the Secretary General also pointed out the alarming pace of climate change.

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In 2016, the nations of the world implemented the Paris Climate Agreement, which is aimed at keeping the increase in average global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, in June, the US, one of the top carbon dioxide emitters, announced its decision to withdraw from the accord, which prompted a backlash; its move undermines global efforts to address the issue of climate change.

On Human Rights

At the same time, the year 2017 saw inequalities grow as well, as there were horrific violations of human rights.

"Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise," the UN chief said.

Unity Is the Path

Given the current circumstances, the UN Secretary General has called for unity, as only together, the nations of the world will be able to tackle the burning issues of modern politics and forge lasting peace on the planet.

"As we begin 2018, I call for unity. I truly believe we can make our world more safe and secure. We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values. But we can only do that together…. Unity is the path. Our future depends on it," Antonio Guterres said.

Guterres urged the leaders of all nations to commit to the following resolutions in 2018.

"Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals," he said.

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