UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
File Photo

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 1 (APP): As he took up his functions as the ninth head of the United Nations, Secretary-General Antnio Guterres pledged to make 2017 a year for peace.
“On this New Year’s Day, I ask all of you to join me in making one shared New Year’s resolution: Let us resolve to put peace first,” Guterres said in his first statement as world’s top diplomat.
He said one question weighs heavy on his heart. “That is: how can we
help the millions of people caught up in conflict, suffering massively in wars with no end in sight.”
Guterres, who replaced Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, urged all citizens,
governments and leaders to strive to overcome differences.
“From solidarity and compassion in our daily lives, to dialogue and respect across political divides … from ceasefire on the battlefield to compromise at negotiating table to reach political solutions … Peace must be our goal and guide.’
“I appeal to you all to join me in committing to peace, today and every day. Let us make 2017 a year for peace,” he added.
Having been formally appointed by the UN General Assembly on 13 October 2016, Guterres, aged 67, will serve for a five-year period from today to 31 December 2021.
He was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015.

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