Press Release

It is our common duty to avoid war – UN Secretary-General

07 January 2020

  • United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a press statement issued at the UN Headquarters in New York on Monday 6 January 2020 said it is our common duty to avoid war.
Caption: UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Photo: © UN Photo/Mark Garten

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a press statement issued at the UN Headquarters in New York on Monday 6 January 2020 said it is our common duty to avoid war.

The full text of the statement reads:

Below is the full text of the press statement issued at the UN Headquarters in New York by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 6 January 2020:

The New Year has begun with our world in turmoil.

We are living in dangerous times. 

Geopolitical tensions are at their highest level this century.

And this turbulence is escalating.

Even nuclear non-proliferation can no longer be taken for granted. 

This cauldron of tensions is leading more and more countries to take unpredicted decisions with unpredictable consequences and a profound risk of miscalculation. 

At the same time, we see trade and technological conflicts that fracture world markets, undermine growth and widen inequalities. 

And all the while, our planet is on fire.  The climate crisis rages on. 

In many parts of the world, we see many people frustrated and angry.  We see increased social unrest and growing extremism, nationalism and radicalization, with a dangerous advance of terrorism, notably in Africa. 

This situation cannot go on. 

I have been following the recent rise in global tensions with great concern. 

I am in constant contact with leading officials around the world. 

My message is simple and clear:

Stop escalation. 

Exercise maximum restraint.

Re-start dialogue.

Renew international cooperation. 

Let us not forget the terrible human suffering caused by war.  As always, ordinary people pay the highest price.  It is our common duty to avoid it.

Thank you.

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It is our common duty to avoid war – UN Secretary-General

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