World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Step Up Action To Achieve COVID-19 Ceasefire, Guterres Says In UN Day Message

The UN’s 75th anniversary this Saturday, which falls as countries continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, is an opportunity to accelerate action to achieve a global ceasefire during the crisis, Secretary-General António Guterres has said.

The UN chief initially issued the appeal for combatants to lay down their arms shortly after the pandemic was declared in March.

“In our world today, we have one common enemy: COVID-19”, said Mr. Guterres in his message for UN Day on 24 October.

“Now is the time for a stepped-up push for peace to achieve a global ceasefire. The clock is ticking.”

UN mission ‘more critical than ever’

UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter, the Organization’s founding document.

The treaty outlines the UN’s goals of promoting human dignity, protecting human rights and saving humanity from conflict.

That founding mission “is more critical than ever”, said the Secretary-General.

Also crucial is the need to “make peace with our planet”, he added, stating “We must mobilize the whole world to reach carbon neutrality - net zero emissions of greenhouse gasses by 2050.”

Europe turns UN blue

Despite the constraints imposed by the global pandemic, countries are celebrating the UN’s historic birthday.

More than 180 iconic buildings across Europe will be lit up in blue, the Organization’s official colour: from monuments to museums, to bridges and beyond.

The initiative is a symbolic attempt to unite people worldwide, and to promote peace, sustainable development and human rights.

As the Secretary-General stated, more must be done to end poverty, inequality, hunger and hatred, and to combat discrimination based on race, religion, gender or any other distinction.

He drew attention to the situation of women and girls, as the pandemic has led to “a horrific rise” in gender-based violence.

A blueprint for better recovery

The UN chief also underlined the need to “build on progress”, pointing to the global collaboration currently underway to develop a safe, affordable and accessible COVID-19 vaccine.

This banner year has also seen the start of a Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their promise of a better future for all people and the planet.

For Mr. Guterres, the 17 SDGs provide an inspiring blueprint for recovering better after the pandemic.

Solidarity and a shared vision

Although the world faces colossal challenges, the UN chief was adamant that they can be overcome through global solidarity and cooperation, saying: “That’s what the United Nations is all about.”

Mr. Guterres asked people everywhere to unite on this UN anniversary.

“Together, let us uphold the enduring values of the United Nations Charter”, he declared. “Let us build on our advances across the decades. Let us realize our shared vision of a better world for all.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

APEC : Leaders Issue Kuala Lumpur Declaration

The leaders of the 21 APEC member economies issued the Kuala Lumpur Declaration following the first-ever virtual 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Convening for the first time since the ... More>>

UN: Refugee Resettlement Numbers Fall To Lowest In Two Decades

Refugee resettlement numbers will be at a “record low” this year, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Wednesday, with only 15,425 people resettled in the first nine months of 2020, compared to more than 50,000 in 2019. In 2016, resettlement ... More>>

G20: Global Co-Operation And Strong Policy Action Needed For A Sustainable Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed major weaknesses in our economies that can only be fixed through greater global co-operation and strong, targeted policy action, according to a new OECD report presented to the Leaders of the G20 countries at their ... More>>

OECD: GDP Rebounded By 9.0% In The Third Quarter Of 2020 But Remains Below Pre-Pandemic High

Following the unprecedented falls in real gross domestic product (GDP) in the first half of the year in the wake of COVID-19 containment measures, GDP in the OECD area rebounded by 9.0% in the third quarter of 2020 but it remains 4.3% below its pre-crisis ... More>>