WORLD UN chief calls for making 2021 'year of healing' in New Year message


UN chief calls for making 2021 'year of healing' in New Year message


16:56, December 29, 2020

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called on the international community to make 2021 "a year of healing" in his video message for the new year.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a joint press conference with the German Foreign Minister after a meeting in Berlin, on December 17, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

"Together, let's make peace among ourselves and with nature, tackle the climate crisis, stop the spread of COVID-19, and make 2021 a year of healing," the UN chief said.

"Healing from the impact of a deadly virus. Healing broken economies and societies. Healing divisions. And starting to heal the planet," the secretary-general added, noting that "that must be our New Year's Resolution for 2021."

Noting that 2020 has been "a year of trials, tragedies and tears," Guterres said that "COVID-19 upended our lives and plunged the world into suffering and grief."

"So many loved ones have been lost -- and the pandemic rages on, creating new waves of sickness and death," he said.

Britain's seasonal worker Jordan Gigg (R) poses with his girlfriend wearing protective face masks in the Alpine resort of Verbier well known by British ski holiday makers, on December 22, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

The top UN official stressed that "poverty, inequality and hunger are rising. Jobs are disappearing and debts are mounting. Children are struggling. Violence in the home is increasing, and insecurity is everywhere."

On a positive note, the UN chief said that "a New Year lies ahead. And with it, we see rays of hope."

"People extending a helping hand to neighbors and strangers; frontline workers giving their all; scientists developing vaccines in record time; countries making new commitments to prevent climate catastrophe," the secretary-general elaborated.

"If we work together in unity and solidarity, these rays of hope can reach around the world," he said. "That's the lesson of this most difficult year."

"Both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are crises that can only be addressed by everyone together -- as part of a transition to an inclusive and sustainable future," Guterres said.

Noting that the central ambition of the United Nations for 2021 is to build a global coalition for carbon neutrality -- net zero emissions -- by 2050, the UN chief underscored that "every government, city, business and individual can play a part in achieving this vision."

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