New United Nations Sec. Gen. calls for peace

By Benjamin Flowers

As his first act as the new Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres is calling for an end to armed conflict.

Guterres, in his New Year’s address, called on the nations of the world to make 2017 a year where they strive to overcome their differences. Guterres reminded that, in war ridden countries, civilians are pounded with deadly force, men women and children are killed or left homeless, and even hospitals and convoys are attacked.

He asked for member countries to join in a shared resolution to put peace first through actions such as: cease fires on the battle field, dialogue across political lines, and compromise at the negotiating table to reach political solutions, as well as solidarity and compassion in daily lives.

“No one wins these wars, everyone loses. Trillions of dollars are spent destroying societies and economies fueling cycles of mistrust and fear that can last for generations,” Guterres said.

Guterres, the former Prime Minister of Portugal, officially took up the post as secretary General on January 1, 2017, having been formally appointed by the UN General Assembly on October 13, 2016.

Guterres, aged 67, will serve for a five-year period, ending on 31 December 2021. He formerly held the post of UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015.

He succeeds former SecGen Ban Ki-moon, a Korean Foreign Service Officer, who took up office in 2006.

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