UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks to UN staff members on the first working day of 2017 at the UN headquarters in New York, on Jan. 3, 2017. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told UN staff members here on Tuesday that the UN needs their collective engagement to make changes to achieve the goals of the organization on peace, security and development. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told UN staff members here on Tuesday that the UN needs their collective engagement to make changes to achieve the goals of the organization on peace, security and development.
Guterres took reins of the UN on New Year's Day.
In his speech at UN headquarters, Guterres encouraged his staff members to be proud of the organization and to recognize its achievements though there is doubt about the role that UN can play in world affairs.
He said due to the work of the UN, many people have been rescued, many people have suffered less, and many people have seen their living conditions improved through international cooperation in different parts of the world.
Guterres also asked the staff members to recognize the shortcomings of the UN as it had failed to prevent and resolve conflicts in some parts of the world.
He urged them to be collectively engaged in UN system reform to get rid of bureaucracy, to facilitate dialogues and discussions, and to work for peace, security, sustainable development and human rights for all people around the world.
Before giving the speech, Guterres laid a wreath at the UN headquarters to honor UN staff fallen in the line of duty.
Guterres, a 67-year-old politician, served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015. He was the prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002.
He was selected as the 9th secretary-general of the UN to succeed Ban Ki-moon who stepped down at the end of 2016.