Jan. 1 (UPI) — United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres issued a “red alert” for the world on Sunday because of an array of global problems, including deepening conflicts and rising inequality.
“When I took office one year ago, I appealed for 2017 to be a year for peace. Unfortunately, in fundamental ways, the world has gone in reverse,” Guterres said in a recorded statement. “On New Year’s Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert, a red alert, for our world.”
Guterres went on to list several “new dangers” that affect the world.
“Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War. Climate change is moving faster than we are. Inequalities are growing. We see horrific violations of human rights. Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise,” Guterres said.
But the U.N. Secretary-General ended his statement with a bit of optimism and a call for unity in the new year.
“I truly believe we can make our world more safe and secure,” he said. “We can settle conflicts, we can overcome hatred and defend shared values. But we can only do that together.”
He continued: “I urge leaders everywhere to make this New Year’s resolution: Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals. Unity is the path. Our future depends on it.”