UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has issued “a red alert” to the world as the year 2018 approaches.
In his message on the New Year, Guterres is calling for unity among the global community to tackle overwhelming challenges and defend values shared by all.
“On New Year's Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert – a red alert for our world,” said the Secretary-General.
Recalling that last year he urged that 2017 be a year for peace, the UN chief noted that unfortunately – in fundamental ways, the world went in reverse.
Perils, including deepening conflicts and new dangers emerged, and global concerns over nuclear weapons reached the highest since the Cold War, he added.
At the same time, impacts of climate change worsened at an alarming rate, inequalities grew and there were horrific violations of human rights.
Underscoring his belief that the world can be made more safe and secure, conflicts can be settled, hatred can be overcome and shared values defended, he emphasized that unity is indispensable to achieving these goals.
Secretary-General António Guterres (left) meets people living in a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) known as "Site du Petit Seminaire St. Pierre Claver", in the town of Bangassou. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe