UN Secretary General calls for efforts to promote culture of peace amid COVID-19 upheaval

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend economies and societies, while also threatening to erode trust in public institutions and democracy, it is critical that people everywhere continue to pursue peace.

That was the core message UN Secretary-General António Guterres delivered to Ambassadors meeting on Thursday for a virtual High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace.

“Not since the United Nations was founded have we faced such a complex and multidimensional threat to global peace and security”, the UN chief said. “In the face of this grave danger, it is more important than ever to work for a culture of peace, as the essential foundation for global cooperation and action.”

The UN chief laid out components for achieving a culture of peace, which he said must be centred on human rights, and on ending injustice and discrimination, whether based on gender, ethnic origin, religion or disability.

Guterres called for “a new generation of social protection” anchored by Universal Health Care and the possibility of a universal basic income. He also stressed the importance of access to quality education, which he labelled “one of the great enablers of progress and crucial for nurturing new generations in understanding shared histories.”