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UN at 75: Secretary-General Guterres calls for global ceasefire

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Secretary-General António Guterres has appealed for global ceasefire to enable the world focus on the fight against COVID-19.

Guterres made the call in his message as the United Nations celebrates its 75th anniversary, which is celebrated yearly on Oct. 24.

Our correspondent reports that the year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the UN and its founding Charter.

The UN officially came into existence on Oct. 24, 1945, when its Charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, United States and a majority of other signatories.

Guterres said that the founding mission of the organisation was now more critical than it ever was.

This, he said, was to promote human dignity, protect human rights, respect international laws and save humanity from war.

“The 75th anniversary of the United Nations falls in the middle of a global pandemic.

“I call for a global ceasefire because in our world today, we have one common enemy, COVID-19.

“Now is the time for a stepped-up push for peace to achieve a global ceasefire. The clock is ticking,” he said.

The Secretary-General added that peace must be made on the planet because the climate emergency threatened life itself.

He said that the whole world must be mobilised to reach carbon neutrality, net zero emissions of greenhouse gasses by 2050.

According to him, a growing number of countries and companies have already pledged to meet this goal toward 2050.

Guterres said that more work had to be done to end human suffering from poverty, inequality, hunger and hatred and fight discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender or any other distinction.

He added that the months of pandemic had seen a horrific rise in violence against women and girls.

Guterres emphasised the need to build on progress, stating that a remarkable global collaboration was under way for a safe, affordable and accessible COVID-19 vaccine for all.

“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) give us an inspiring blueprint for recovering better. We face colossal challenges but with global solidarity and cooperation we can overcome them.

“On this anniversary, I ask people everywhere to join together. The United Nations not only stand with you, it belongs to you and is you, ‘we the peoples.’

“Together, let us uphold the enduring values of the United Nations Charter. Let us build on our advances across the decades and let us realise our shared vision of a better world for all,” the Secretary-General said.