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UN chief highlights "nuclear peril" in work report to General Assembly
Last Updated: 2017-09-20 07:32 | Xinhua
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UN-72ND GENERAL ASSENBLY-ANTONIO GUTERRES

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the 72nd session of theUnited NationsGeneral Assembly, at the UN headquarters in New York, Sept. 19, 2017. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday highlighted "nuclear peril" while addressing the General Assembly in his work report. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday highlighted "nuclear peril" while addressing the General Assembly, which kicked off its annual general debate.

"Today global anxieties about nuclear weapons are at the highest level since the end of the Cold War," he said.

"Millions of people live under a shadow of dread cast by the provocative nuclear and missile tests of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)," he added.

"I condemn those tests unequivocally," he said.

In his annual work report to the General Assembly, Guterres said that "our world is in trouble. People are hurting and angry. They see insecurity rising, inequality growing, conflict spreading and climate changing."

The UN chief listed the most serious threats that face the world, including nuclear peril, terrorism, unresolved conflicts and systematic violations of international humanitarian law, and climate change.

"The use of nuclear weapons should be unthinkable. Even the threat of their use can never be condoned," he said.

"I call on the DPRK and all member states to comply fully with Security Council resolutions," said the UN chief.

The secretary-general said that last week's unanimous adoption of resolution 2375 "tightens sanctions and sends a clear message regarding the country's international obligations."

"I appeal to the Council to maintain its unity," he said, adding that "only that unity can lead to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and -- as the resolution recognizes -- create an opportunity for diplomatic engagement to resolve the crisis."

Once again, the UN chief stressed that the solution "must be political. This is a time for statesmanship."

"We must not sleepwalk our way into war," he warned.

Speaking of terrorism threat, the UN chief said that "nothing justifies terrorism -- no cause, no grievance."

"Terrorism continues to take a rising toll of death and devastation," he said, adding that "It is destroying societies, destabilizing regions and diverting energy from more productive pursuits."

He stressed that "Stronger international cooperation remains crucial against terrorism."

Turning to humanitarian crisis in Myanmar's Rakhine State, the UN chief emphasized that "the authorities in Myanmar must end the military operations, allow unhindered humanitarian access and recognize the right of refugees to return in safety and dignity."

The secretary-general warned that "we will not be able to eradicate terrorism if we do not resolve the conflicts that are creating the disorder within which violent extremists flourish."

Talking about climate change, Guterres said that "millions of people and trillions of assets are at risk from rising seas and other climate disruptions."

He noted "we should not link any single weather event with climate change. But scientists are clear that such extreme weather is precisely what their models predict will be the new normal of a warming world."

The UN chief urged the governments to implement the historic Paris Agreement with ever greater ambition, adding that he welcomes the initiatives of the thousands of private enterprises, including major oil and gas companies that are betting on a clean, green future.

The General Assembly of the United Nations on Tuesday morning started its annual general debate, with heads of state and government and other senior national representatives gathering at the UN headquarters to present their views about pressing world issues.

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