Guterres pledges to make 2021 a year of healing

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has pledged to make 2021 a year to heal the Earth by overcoming the coronavirus pandemic and slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

The United Nations released his video message for the coming year on Monday.

Guterres described 2020 as a "year of trials, tragedies and tears." He noted that the pandemic has claimed many lives, widened disparities, brought food shortages and forced a huge number of people out of work.

He urged the international community to unite to "heal the planet." He called for "healing from the impact of a deadly virus, healing broken economies and societies, and healing divisions."

Guterres expressed his resolve to advance international cooperation to curb the spread of the virus and distribute vaccines. He also spoke of his plan to make all countries carbon neutral by 2050.

The United Nations has sustainable development goals, such as eliminating poverty, promoting education and medicine, and tackling the climate crisis.

But the world has seen a sharp rise in the number of people who struggle from poverty or have lost access to education amid the pandemic, especially in developing nations.