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The Secretary-General: New Year’s message 2021

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The Secretary-General: New Year’s message 2021

Secretary-General António Guterres
29 December 2020
screenshot from SG's video message
United Nations
Screenshot from the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres' video message.
If you can't read now, just listen to the audio version: 

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.

Portrait of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

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

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. 

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.