UN chief Guterres arrives at UN Headquarters

By Our Correspondent

The new UN Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres has arrived at the UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, his first time as Secretary-General.

Guterres was accompanied to the UN headquarters by Mr Peter Thompson, President of the 71st Session of the General Assembly and Maria Ribeiro, Chief de Cabinet to Guterres.

The new scribe, after his arrival, gave a brief address to the staff, some of whom were on ground to receive him.

The secretary-general emphasised his vision of rallying global leaders to resolve some of the most complex challenges currently confronting humanity.

“Only global solutions can solve global problems and the UN is the cornerstone of that,” Guterres told the UN staff.

Guterres assumed office on Jan. 1, 2017, as the ninth UN Secretary-General after Ban Ki-moon’s exit following the completion of a 10 year- tenure on Dec. 31.

The new UN scribe, in his maiden message as the UN Secretary-General, entitled: “Appeal for Peace”, urged the world to make a New Year resolution “to put peace first”.

“On my first day as Secretary-General of the United Nations, 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. Even hospitals and aid convoys are targeted.”

According to him, no one wins these wars rather, everyone loses.

Guterres explained that trillions of dollars were spent destroying societies and economies, fuelling cycles of mistrust and fear that could last for generations.

He regretted that whole regions were destabilised, adding that 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,” the new UN scribe said.

According to him, 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,” Guterres, who was sworn in on Dec. 12, 2016 as the ninth Secretary-General, appealed.

Prior to his election as Secretary-General, he served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015.

The UN chief also served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002.

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