In 2019 UN will continue to bring people together to create space for solutions: Guterres
United Nations: In the new year, the United Nations will continue to bring people together to build bridges and create space for solutions, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Saturday, setting the world body’s agenda for 2019.
Guterres in his new year message listed out some of the top challenges being faced by the world today including climate change, extremism and increasing intolerance.
“Last New Year, I issued a red alert, and the dangers I mentioned still persist. These are anxious times for many, and our world is undergoing a stress test. Climate change is running faster than we are,” he said.
Geo-political divisions are deepening, making conflicts more difficult to resolve, he said, adding record numbers of people are moving in search of safety and protection. “Inequality is growing. And people are questioning a world in which a handful of people hold the same wealth as half of humanity,” Guterres said.
Noting that intolerance is on the rise, the UN secretary General said trust is on the decline. “But there are also reasons for hope,” he said, noting that the talks on Yemen have created a chance for peace.
Similarly, the agreement signed in Riyadh in September between Ethiopia and Eritrea has eased long-running tensions and brought improved prospects to an entire region, he said. And the agreement between the parties to the conflict in South Sudan has revitalised chances for peace, bringing more progress in the past four months than in the previous four years.
The United Nations was able to bring countries together in Katowice to approve the Work Programme for the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, he said. “Now we need to increase ambition to beat this existential threat. It’s time to seize our last best chance. It’s time to stop uncontrolled and spiraling climate change,” he said.
In recent weeks, the United Nations also oversaw landmark global agreements on migration and refugees, that will help to save lives and overcome damaging myths. “And everywhere, people are mobilizing behind the Sustainable Development Goals – our global blueprint for peace, justice and prosperity on a healthy planet,” he said.
“When international cooperation works, the world wins. In 2019, the United Nations will continue to bring people together to build bridges and create space for solutions,” Guterres said.