UN chief calls for uniting for peace


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for efforts to unite for peace. “It is essential that we work for a just and sustainable peace, but a peace in line with the UN Charter and international law,” the UN Chief said on Thursday at the press conference on his 2024 priorities at the UN headquarters in New York.

“Yesterday, I addressed the General Assembly focusing on priorities for this year and beyond,” he added. “It is a long and detailed agenda — but the varied challenges are connected by a common thread. Peace. The need for peace in all its dimensions because peace is the tie that binds.”

“But, too often, we face instead a gordian knot,” the Secretary-General noted as quoted by Xinhua news agency report. The top UN official spoke of the rising conflict and geopolitical divisions that threatened peace and security, the polarisation tearing through communities, the widening gap of inequalities under the guise of peace with justice, and the alarming rise in global emissions and temperatures challenging peace with nature.


“We are at a moment of truth — but we have a breakdown of trust,” he declared. “Trust in institutions. Trust in leaders. And also trust in governments and multilateral institutions.” The solution, he proposed, was to make a “real and positive difference in people’s lives. By solving people’s problems”.

“This is no time for pulling punches,” he said, adding the age-old nuclear threat, the climate emergency, and the unchecked dangers of artificial intelligence were laid bare as existential challenges that required a united and organised response. Amid the myriad of issues, there is a glimmer of hope, he assured.

“Much can be done across the board.” From ending conflict to addressing threats posed by artificial intelligence, taking climate action, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the path forward is clear, albeit challenging, the Secretary-General added. It is a call for a “serious conversation” between nations, a reform of outdated institutions, and an embrace of multipolarity with effective, renewed, and inclusive mechanisms of multilateral governance, the UN chief stressed.

As the Secretary-General outlined the New Agenda for Peace, the SDG Stimulus, the Global Digital Compact, and other initiatives, he emphasised the critical need for solutions to the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, highlighting their profound global consequences. “Our world cannot afford to wait,” he said. The challenges are daunting, the path complex, but the call for peace, unity, and action resonates deeply within the walls of the United Nations and beyond, Guterres added.