United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his New Year message, has again stressed the need for all nations to work towards achieving peace in the world.
Guterres said in a video message that every new year is a moment of rebirth during which, “We sweep out the ashes of the old year and prepare for a brighter day”.
He noted that in 2022, millions of people around the world literally swept out ashes.
“From Ukraine to Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and beyond, people left the ruins of their homes and lives in search of something better. Around the world, one hundred million people were on the move, fleeing wars, wildfires, droughts, poverty and hunger”.
He said there it was necessary to have peace with one another, through dialogue to end conflict; peace with nature and our climate, to build a more sustainable world; peace in the home, so women and girls can live in dignity and safety; peace on the streets and in our communities, with the full protection of all human rights; peace in our places of worship, with respect for each other’s beliefs; and peace online, free from hate speech and abuse.
Mr. Guterres stated: “In 2023, let’s put peace at the heart of our words and actions. Together, let’s make 2023 a year when peace is restored to our lives, our homes, and our world”.
Meanwhile, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Matthias Schmale, has issued a statement on the killing of the pregnant lawyer, Mrs. Omobolanle Raheem, by an officer of Nigerian Police in Lagos on Christmas Day.
He described the shooting to death as deeply disturbing and sad.
Mr. Schmale said: “On behalf of the United Nations System in Nigeria, I convey my heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Raheem’s family, and to her professional colleagues and friends. We urge that justice be expediently served for Mrs. Raheem and her family”.
He urged the government of Nigeria to review and strengthen the implementation of the Police Force’s Rules of Engagement, and Standard Operating Procedure on human rights, to prevent a similar incident in the future.
He noted that as another year concludes, it is worrying that the epidemic of violence against women and girls has not abated, stressing that the United Nations will continue to support the Government of Nigeria and the Nigerian Police in protecting women and girls from any form of violence and in ensuring that the human rights of the most vulnerable in society are fully respected.