UNITED NATIONS: In his New Year's message, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the international community to make 2021 "a year of healing".
"Together, let's make peace among ourselves and with nature, tackle the climate crisis, stop the spread of COVID-19, and make 2021 a year of healing," Xinhua news agency quoted the UN chief as saying in his video message on Monday.
"Healing from the impact of a deadly virus. Healing broken economies and societies. Healing divisions. And starting to heal the planet," the Secretary-General said, adding "that must be our New Year's Resolution for 2021".
Noting that 2020 has been "a year of trials, tragedies and tears", Guterres said that "COVID-19 upended our lives and plunged the world into suffering and grief". "So many loved ones have been lost and the pandemic rages on, creating new waves of sickness and death," he said.
Guterres stressed that "poverty, inequality and hunger are rising. Jobs are disappearing and debts are mounting. Children are struggling. Violence in the home is increasing, and insecurity is everywhere".
On a positive note, the UN chief said that "a New Year lies ahead. And with it, we see rays of hope". "People extending a helping hand to neighbours and strangers; frontline workers giving their all; scientists developing vaccines in record time; countries making new commitments to prevent climate catastrophe," the Secretary-General elaborated.
"If we work together in unity and solidarity, these rays of hope can reach around the world," he said. "That's the lesson of this most difficult year." "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," Guterres said.
Noting that the central ambition of the UN for 2021 is to build a global coalition for carbon neutrality — net zero emissions — by 2050, the UN chief underscored that "every government, city, business and individual can play a part in achieving this vision". (IANS)