A New Year’s Message

Dec 29, 2020

from UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Dear Friends,

2020 has been a year of trials, tragedies and tears.

COVID-19 upended our lives and plunged the world into suffering and grief.

So many loved ones have been lost — and the pandemic rages on, creating new waves of sickness and death.

A group of healthcare professionals treat #COVID19 patients in the Intensive Care Unit at Greenwich Hospital, USA. Photo credit: Greenwich Hospital

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.

But a New Year lies ahead. And with it, we see rays of hope:

– People extending a helping hand to neighbors and strangers;

– Frontline workers giving their all;

– Scientists developing vaccines in record time;

– Countries making new commitments to prevent climate catastrophe.

If we work together in unity and solidarity, these rays of hope can reach around the world.

That’s the lesson of this most difficult year.

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Both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are crises that can only be addressed by everyone together — as part of a transition to an inclusive and sustainable future.

The central ambition of the United Nations for 2021 is to build a global coalition for carbon neutrality — net zero emissions — by 2050.

Every government, city, business and individual can play a part in achieving this vision.

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.

Healing from the impact of a deadly virus. Healing broken economies and societies. Healing divisions. And starting to heal the planet.

That must be our New Year’s Resolution for 2021.

I wish you all a happy and peaceful New Year, from the United Nations.

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António Guterres is the 9th Secretary-General of the United Nations

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A New Year’s Message was originally published in We The Peoples on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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