War with N. Korea is avoidable: United Nations chief

17 Jan 2018- 11:27:00

17 Jan 2018- 11:27:00

"I took office last year calling for us to make 2017 a year for peace".

Guterres held his first news conference of the year at the United Nations headquarters in NY on Tuesday. In fundamental ways the world has gone in reverse.

He reiterated earlier Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly that "global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War".

Mr. Guterres also underlined the needs to strengthen African Union-UN partnership, maintain a strong focus on counter-terrorism, strengthen UN peace operations, and overcome the false contradiction between human rights and national sovereignty. "Nationalism, racism and xenophobia are on the rise".

Reflecting on what is facing the United Nations and himself, Guterres told the UN members Tuesday morning, "We need greater unity and courage, unity and courage to meet today's most urgent needs, to ease the fears of the people we serve and set the world on track towards a better future".

Among the areas for action the United Nations chief included the settlement of the Ukrainian, Syrian and other crisis, fight against terrorism, countering global climate change and migration issue. He highlighted one cross-cutting imperative: the empowerment of women.

Mr. Guterres stressed the need for promoting a true new deal for fair globalization.

Regarding technological advances, he said it is important to reap the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution while guarding against the threats. "It's not by chance if eight individuals possess as much wealth as half the poorest population in the world". "The past five years have been the hottest period on record", he said, adding that he will convene a climate summit next year to build momentum among the global community for more ambitious reductions in emissions, as well as adaptation and the much-needed energy transition. He warned that commitments to the Paris Agreement on climate change are not enough to achieve the goal of limiting global temperature rise in this century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, or even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

"The year 2016 saw the first rise in Carbon dioxide emissions in three years".

On migration, Mr. Guterres said that it is a positive global phenomenon, and therefore the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is an important task for this year. "Power is the heart of the matter".

"Women's meaningful participation in peace and security has been proven to make peace more sustainable".

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