By Christopher Cottrell/Photo Credits:UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré
“Even hospitals and aid convoys are targeted,” said newly sworn in United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the first day of 2017—which also happened to be his first day on the job.
On his first day in the role of U.N. Secretary-General, he delivered a passionate appeal for peace. In his speech in New York on January 1, 2017, Secretary-General Guterres said:
“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.
“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. Whole regions are destabilized and 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.
“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. Thank you.”
Secretary-General Guterres previously served the United Nations as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015.Prior to that, he was the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002. He will oversee the UN for the next five years, until 2021.