After a year of brutal warfare from Afghanistan to Ukraine, forcing record numbers to flee their homes, the world needs peace in 2023 “more than ever”, said the UN Secretary-General, in his New Year message.
“Every New Year is a moment of rebirth”, said António Guterres. We sweep out the ashes of the old year and prepare for a brighter day. In 2022, millions of people around the world literally swept out ashes.”
The impact on civilians, meant that over 100 million people found themselves fleeing violence, wildfires, droughts, poverty and hunger, the UN chief said.
“In 2023, we need peace, now more than ever. Peace with one another, through dialogue to end conflict. Peace with nature and our climate, to build a more sustainable world.”
Living with dignity
Peace was also needed inside families and homes, “so women and girls can live in dignity and safety”, added Mr. Guterres, as well as peace on streets that too often have seen violent reprisals from security forces in response to peaceful protest.
Demonstrators and whole communities, need “the full protection of human rights”, he said, and for those with religious belief, there needs to be peace in places of worship, together with greater tolerance of other faiths.
Living free from hate
There also needs to be peace online, he added, so instead of disinformation, and conspiracy theories, all societies can enjoy the Internet “free from hate speech and abuse.”
In 2023, let’s put peace at the heart of our words and actions”, said the Secretary-General.
“Together, let’s make 2023 a year when peace is restored to our lives, our homes, and our world.”
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