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UN chief calls for unity, hope in New Year's message

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-12-29 09:21

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks to the press outside the Security Council Chamber at the UN headquarters in New York, on Nov 27, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

UNITED NATIONS -- In a video message released on the eve of 2024, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the world, reflecting on the trials and tribulations of the past year and offering a vision of unity and hope for the year ahead.

"2023 has been a year of enormous suffering, violence, and climate chaos," Guterres said. "Humanity is in pain, and our planet is in peril. 2023 is the hottest year on record."

Highlighting the pressing global issues that have compounded the world's challenges, the UN chief emphasized that poverty and hunger continue to afflict countless people, while conflicts and wars are multiplying in number and intensity. Trust, both among nations and within communities, is "in short supply."

Guterres urged restraint against the temptation to cast blame and resort to violence, saying, "Pointing fingers and pointing guns lead nowhere. Humanity is strongest when we stand together."

Looking to the future, the top UN official called for 2024 to be a year dedicated to "rebuilding trust and restoring hope."

"We must come together across divides for shared solutions," including taking decisive action on climate change, creating economic opportunities, and establishing a more equitable global financial system that benefits all, he stressed.

Guterres also underscored the imperative to combat discrimination and hatred, which he said have strained relations between nations and communities.

Furthermore, he stressed the need to ensure that emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, serve the greater good of humanity.

Guterres reaffirmed the United Nations' unwavering commitment to rallying the world for peace, sustainable development, and human rights. "Let's resolve to make 2024 a year of building trust and hope in all that we can accomplish together."

"I wish you a happy and peaceful New Year," the top UN official concluded.

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