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UN chief calls for putting peace at center of actions, words

UN chief Antonio Guterres.

United Nations | Xinhua | UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called on all countries to place peace at the center of all their words and actions.

“In 2023, let’s put peace at the heart of our words and actions,” the UN chief said in his New Year video message. “In 2023, we need peace, now more than ever. Peace with one another, through dialogue to end conflict. Peace with nature and our climate, to build a more sustainable world.”

Peace is also needed inside families and homes, “so women and girls can live in dignity and safety,” he said, as well as peace on streets that too often have seen violent reprisals from security forces in response to peaceful protest.

There also needs to be peace online, he added, so instead of disinformation, and conspiracy theories, all societies can enjoy the Internet “free from hate speech and abuse.”

“From Ukraine to Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and beyond, people left the ruins of their homes and lives in search of something better,” Guterres said.

The impact on civilians, meant that over 100 million people found themselves fleeing violence, wildfires, droughts, poverty and hunger, the UN chief said.

“Together, let’s make 2023 a year when peace is restored to our lives, our homes, and our world,” the secretary-general concluded.

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