United Nations chief calls for putting 'peace first'

New UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued his first address on Sunday, where he appealed for peace in the world.

Guterres, 67, a former prime minister of Portugal and United Nations high commissioner for refugees, was sworn-in to his new position of leadership in mid-December but didn't formally assume office until Sunday.

Guterres, former prime minister of Portugal and former High Commissioner for Refugees, has told the United Nations in a speech that the question of how to help millions of people caught up in conflict and war weighs heavily on his heart. "Let us make the year 2017 a year in which we all - citizens, governments, leaders - strive to overcome our differences", Guterres said. Women, children and men are killed and injured, forced from their homes, dispossessed and destitute. "The United States is not only the main donor of the United Nations but a fundamental element in its actions", he was quoted as saying by The Times of Israel.

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"No one wins these wars; everyone loses".

"From solidarity and compassion in our daily lives, to dialogue and respect across political divides; from ceasefire on the battlefield to compromise at negotiating table to reach political solutions, peace must be our goal and guide".

"Our duty to the peoples we serve is to work together to move from fear of each other, to trust in each other, trust in the values that bind us, and trust in the institutions that serve and protect us", he said. The US is also one of only five permanent countries on the Security Council with veto powers, an ability that gives it a significant say in worldwide matters. The new Secretary-General is named António Guterres. The U.S.is not only one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, it also represents 22-percent of the UN's regular budget and 25-percent of its peacekeeping budget.

  • Megan Austin