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UN Chief Issues 'Red Alert,' Calls for Defending Shared Values

By J Nastranis

Photo: Secretary-General António Guterres addresses Security Council meeting on the non-proliferation by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elias

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has issued "a red alert for our world" in his message on the occasion of 2018 New Year. It's probably the first time ever a UN Chief has done so.

He does not explicitly refer to the nuclear muscle-flexing between the United States and North Korea, but warns: "Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War."

Red alert is "a state of alert brought on by impending danger". The full text of his message on December 31 explains why he perceives a sword of Damocles hanging over our heads. But there is something the international community can undoubtedly do to avert the impending danger. Here the full text of Guterres' video message:

When I took office one year ago, I appealed for 2017 to be a year for peace.

Unfortunately – in fundamental ways, the world has gone in reverse.

On New Year’s Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert -- a red alert for our world.

Conflicts have deepened and new dangers have emerged.

Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War.

Climate change is moving faster than we are.

Inequalities are growing.  

We see horrific violations of human rights.

Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise.

As we begin 2018, I call for unity.

I truly believe we can make our world more safe and secure.

We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values.

But we can only do that together.

I urge leaders everywhere to make this New Year’s resolution: Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals.

Unity is the path.

Our future depends on it.

I wish you peace and health in 2018. [IDN-InDepthNews – 31 December 2017]

Read related IDN articles on: https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/global-governance/un-insider

Photo: Secretary-General António Guterres addresses Security Council meeting on the non-proliferation by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elias

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