United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called on parties concerned to exercise maximum restraint to stop escalation of global tensions.
Warning that "geopolitical tensions are at their highest level this century," the UN chief told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York that he is "in constant contact" with leading officials around the world and his message is simple and clear: "stop escalation, exercise maximum restraint, re-start dialogue and renew international cooperation."
"The New Year has begun with our world in turmoil. We are living in dangerous times. Geopolitical tensions are at their highest level this century. And this turbulence is escalating. Even nuclear non-proliferation can no longer be taken for granted," the UN chief said.
"This cauldron of tensions is leading more and more countries to take unpredicted decisions with unpredictable consequences and a profound risk of miscalculation," he said.
"At the same time, we see trade and technological conflicts that fracture world markets, undermine growth and widen inequalities. And all the while, our planet is on fire. The climate crisis rages on," the secretary-general added.
"In many parts of the world, we see people frustrated and angry. We see increased social unrest and growing extremism, nationalism and radicalization, with a dangerous advance of terrorism, notably in Africa," said Guterres.
"This situation cannot go on," the UN chief said.
"Let us not forget the terrible human suffering caused by war. As always, ordinary people pay the highest price. It is our common duty to avoid it," said the UN chief.