UN Chief says 2021 must be year to put world back ‘on track’


NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that 2021 must be a year of changes that will return the world on the right path.

“2020 brought us tragedy and peril. 2021 must be the year to change gear and put the world on track,” Guterres said. “We need to move from death to health; from disaster to reconstruction; from despair to hope; from business as usual to transformation.”

Guterres pointed out that it is vital to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and now is the time to secure the well-being of people, economies, societies and the planet itself.

“It is possible. So we must make it happen. Together,” he said.
Guterres noted that 2020 became a year of despair as the coronavirus pandemic “unleashed havoc” in every nation and every economy.

“We lost 2 million lives, including dear members of our UN family,” he said, adding that the human and economic toll continue to mount and unemployment has exceeded 500 million.

In addition, the UN Chief pointed out that geopolitical tensions are undermining efforts for peace, while humanitarian needs grow.

“Forced displacement reached record levels last year,” he said. “The risk of nuclear and chemical proliferation grows. Human rights face a backlash. Hate speech is booming. Lawless behavior in cyberspace has created a new domain for the propagation of crime, violence, misinformation and disruption.” (ANI/Sputnik)