2023 shall be ‘year of peace’ – UN chief

f united nations secretary general anto cc nio guterres
f united nations secretary general anto cc nio guterres

The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on Monday, pledged to make 2023 “a year for peace” and a “year for action”, highlighting the need for practical solutions to a raft of pressing problems facing all regions of the world.

Guterres who made the pledge at the end of year press conference at UN Headquarters said, “We owe it to people to find solutions, to fight back, and to act”.

Building on his general call to action, Guterres announced that he would convene a Climate Ambition Summit in September 2023, and called on every leader to “step up – from governments, business, cities and regions, civil society and finance.”

He said it would be “a no-nonsense summit. No exceptions. No compromises. There will be no room for back-sliders, greenwashers, blame-shifters or repackaging of announcements of previous years.”

The UN chief said it would be convened alongside a General Assembly opening-week summit already in the calendar, designed to accelerate action at the halfway point towards the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals.

He said that although there might be “plenty of reasons for despair”, amid the Ukraine war, and associated cost-of-living crisis leaving the poorest nations on “debt row”, that was not an option.

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“This is not a time to sit on the sidelines, it is a time for resolve, determination, and – yes – even hope.

“Because despite the limitations and long odds, we are working to push back against despair, to fight back against disillusion and to find real solutions.

“Not perfect solutions – not even always pretty solutions – but practical solutions that are making a meaningful difference to people’s lives.

“Solutions that must put us on a pathway to a better, and more peaceful future,” Guterres added.

He highlighted the deal to halt the destruction of ecosystems worldwide, at the UN’s Biodiversity Conference, COP15.

“We are finally starting to form a peace pact, with nature”, he said, urging all countries to deliver on their promises.

Progress has been made on ending conflict in some of the world’s warzones, he said, pointing to the cessation of hostilities in northern Ethiopia, as another “reason for hope”, a by-product of “a rebirth of diplomacy.”

NAN

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