UN Secretary General says countries should strive to make 2021 ‘year of healing’

Moscow, Dec 29 (Sputnik) United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on governments across the globe to work in unity and solidarity in order to defeat the coronavirus and make next year a year of healing. “2020 has been a year of trials, tragedies and tears,” Guterres said in his New Year address, released by the UN on Monday. “Poverty, inequality and hunger are rising. Jobs are disappearing and debts are mounting. Children are struggling. Violence in the home is increasing and insecurity is everywhere,” the UN Secretary-General said.

He stressed that countries must work together “in unity and solidarity” so that “rays of hope can reach around the world.” “The central ambition of the United Nations for 2021 is to build a global coalition for carbon neutrality – net zero emissions – by 2050,” Guterres said. The UN Secretary-General emphasized that each individual, government, city and business can play a role in creating a better future. “Together, let’s make peace among ourselves and with nature, tackle the climate crisis, stop the spread of COVID-19 and make 2021 a year of healing,” Guterres said. On Sunday, World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world should get prepared for future pandemics that are inevitable.

He added that prior to the start of the coronavirus pandemic this past spring there have been many reviews and reports saying that the world was not ready for such a crisis. “All countries must invest in preparedness capacities,” the WHO chief stressed, adding that “true preparedness is not just a job for the health sector” and requires “an all-of-government and all-of-society approach.” According to the Johns Hopkins University, there are over 81 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, while the global death toll stands at over 1.7 million.