Bolster fragile world to emerge stronger, UN chief urges, marking Peace Day

NEW YORK: Speaking in front of the Japanese Peace Bell on the grounds of the UN Secretariat, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres outlined how the coronavirus is putting peace at risk, prompting him in March to appeal for a global ceasefire shortly after the pandemic was declared.

“Beyond war zones, the pandemic is highlighting and exploiting inequalities of all kinds, setting communities and countries against each other,” he stated.

Prior to ringing the bell, the Secretary-General called for a minute of silence for victims of war and conflict around the world.

For the UN chief, the Peace Bell Ceremony is “an annual moment of calm” before the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly, which begins next week, in unprecedented circumstances, without the usual teeming corridors and packed conference halls.

During the largely virtual General Debate, Guterres will repeat his call for the global ceasefire, stating, “We need to silence the guns and focus on our common enemy: the virus.”

The pandemic is unfolding in the year the UN turns 75, and Thursday’s ceremony also provided a moment to reflect on the Organization’s founding goal of preventing war and promoting peace.

The Secretary-General described the Peace Bell as a symbol of unity, cast from coins and medals donated by people all over the world. It was gifted to the UN by Japan in 1954.

 

 

Source: WAM – Emirates News Agency

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