New UN chief sets 2017 resolution for world: ‘Put peace first’

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Newly installed United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said he wants to make 2017 a year to “put peace first.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took office on Jan. 1, 2017.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took office on Jan. 1. / Reuters

Guterres, who replaced Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 1 as UN chief, said in a message that he will be working to resolve people trapped in wars and other violent conflicts in countries such as Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, and Burundi.

“How can we help the millions of people caught up in conflict, suffering massively in wars with no end in sight?” he asked. “No one wins these wars; everyone loses.”

Guterres, 67, previously worked on migrant issues as UN high commissioner for refugees, a post he held for a decade.

The former Portuguese prime minister said he wanted the world to have one common New Year’s resolution: “to put peace first.”

“Let us make 2017 a year in which we all — citizens, governments, leaders — strive to overcome our differences,” Guterres said.

“Peace must be our goal and our guide,” he said. “All that we strive for as a human family — dignity and hope, progress, and prosperity — depends on peace.”

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