Guterres debuts as UN chief with call for peace

United Nations, Jan 1 (IANS) Antonio Guterres began on Sunday his five-year term as the new United Nations Secretary-General with a call for peace.

“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,” Efe news agency quoted Guterres as saying in his first message as the head of the United Nations.

Without mentioning any particular conflict, the former Portuguese diplomat called for a ceasefire and compromises at negotiations, in order to achieve political solutions.

“Peace must be our goal and our guide,” he said in a video message recorded in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

The new Secretary-General put a poser before the international community: What can it do to help the millions of people “caught up in conflict, suffering massively in wars with no end in sight?”

“No one wins these wars, everyone loses,” lamented Guterres, who denounced the impact they have on the civilian populations.

“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 concluded.

–IANS

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