Antonio Guterres

The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has sent a clear four-point message to world leaders.

“Stop escalation, exercise maximum restraint, restart dialogue, renew international cooperation,” he said.

Guterres was addressing the United Nations Security Council on Monday at the UN Headquarters in New York.

He said “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,” said the UN Chief noting that this turbulence is escalating.

He harped on the climate crisis raging in many parts of the world.

“We see increased social unrest and growing extremism, nationalism and radicalisation 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 and I am in constant contact with leading officials around the world,” he said.

Guterres, however, did not specifically mention the ongoing conflict between the United States and Iran after the former assassinated a general, Qassem Soleimani, who headed Iran’s Quds Force before his demise.

Call for caution

Guterres said “even nuclear non-proliferation can no longer be taken for granted.”

He added: “This cauldron of tension 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.”

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