UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday warned the world is headed for an even wider war as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaches its first anniversary. According to Guterres, working to achieve peace is the most urgent priority, as the world is slowly sleepwalking into a wider war.
Guterres said that about two billion human beings are being regularly impacted by violence outside Ukraine’s war zone. “In Palestine and Israel, where the two-State solution is growing more distant by the day. In Afghanistan, where the rights of women and girls are being trampled and deadly terrorist attacks continue. In the Sahel (a region of Africa between the Sahara to the north and the savanna to the south – DI), where security is deteriorating at an alarming rate. In Myanmar, which is facing new cycles of violence and repression. In Haiti, where gang violence is holding the entire country hostage.”
“The prospects for peace keep diminishing,” the Secretary-General said. “The chances of further escalation and bloodshed keep growing. I fear the world is not sleepwalking into a wider war. It is doing so with its eyes wide open. The world needs peace. Peace in line with the United Nations Charter and international law.”
On January 18, Guterres warned the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, that he did not believe there was an opportunity yet to organize “a serious peace negotiation” between the warring parties in Ukraine. Following that sobering assessment, he said he remained committed to alleviating the suffering of Ukrainians and vulnerable people in the wider world, still reeling from the conflict’s “dramatic, devastating impacts” on the global economy.
“There will be an end…there is an end of everything, but I do not see an end of the war in the immediate future,” Guterres said. “I do not see a chance at the present moment to have a serious peace negotiation between the two parties.”