As the world enters 2021, after a “year of trials, tragedies and tears”, the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has delivered a message of hope for the new year.
Praising the kindness shown by people around the world, the tireless efforts of frontline workers, the scientists who have developed vaccines in record time, and the countries making new advances to save the planet from climate catastrophe, Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his wish for a year of healing.
Against the backdrop of persistent suffering and grief, in a year when the COVID-19 pandemic marked everyone’s lives, Guterres said in his New Year’s message that we shall work together “in unity and solidarity”, so those “rays of hope can reach around the world”.
“So many loved ones have been lost — and the pandemic rages on, creating new waves of sickness and death”, he noted. Adding that poverty, inequality and hunger are on the rise, with jobs disappearing, certain sectors struggling to survive, debts mounting and children struggling, Guterres raised his concerns regarding the increased violence in the home and insecurity.
But a New Year lies ahead, he continued, and if we work together in unity and solidarity, the rays of hope can reach around the world: “people extending a helping hand to neighbours and strangers; frontline workers giving their all; scientists developing vaccines in record time; and countries making new commitments to prevent climate catastrophe”.
“That’s the lesson of this most difficult year”, he said, “both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are crises that can only be addressed by everyone together – as part of a transition to an inclusive and sustainable future.”
We all have a role to play for a better tomorrow, UN General Assembly President says in New Year message
The President of the United Nations General Assembly has urged everyone around the world “to continue to work together” to end the coronavirus pandemic, and to build an inclusive and sustainable future.
In a message for the New Year, Assembly President Volkan Bozkir said that each individual, community, and country has a role to play, locally and globally, to reduce inequalities, protect the most vulnerable people, and create more just, safer societies.
“‘We the peoples’ are resilient,” he highlighted, referring to preambular words of the United Nations Charter.
“Together, we can build peace around the world, uphold the human rights, and inherent dignity of every person, and implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
Bozkir also recalled the challenges humanity faced in 2020, and hoped for a better 2021.
“We can be proud that, as individuals, we looked out for our neighbours over the past year,” he said, adding:
“We have made it through a dark period in history, but there are brighter days ahead in 2021, as we begin the roll out of vaccines for all, which will be fundamental to our collective efforts, to safeguard humanity.”
The General Assembly President also applauded the “power of humanity” to achieve what may seem impossible, “just like the founders of the United Nations did seventy-five years ago.”
“In 2021, there is only one New Year’s resolution that has the power to change the course of history, and that is, to work together to create a better world for all,” he said.