Antonio Guterres to outline United Nations priorities for 2020

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will hold a press conference in New York today to discuss UN priorities for the upcoming

un priorities 2020

Photo: Antonia Masiello/Getty

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will hold a press conference in New York today to discuss UN priorities for the upcoming year.

The event is likely to draw on his January 22 speech at the General Assembly, where he discussed the “four horsemen of the 21st century”—geopolitical tensions, climate crisis, global mistrust and the dark side of technology.

Focusing on geopolitical tensions, Guterres is likely to propose mediation solutions, such as peacekeeping forces and counter-terrorism operations in conflict-ridden regions such as Africa and the Middle East.

A recent development in this regard is the passing of the Security Council’s resolution on Thursday that extends the UN Peacekeeping Force mandate in Cyprus until July 31. Tensions have flared between Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean region over hydrocarbon exploration, and Guterres has urged actors on both sides to enhance “communication for risk-mitigation and trust-building between the communities”.

Guterres, in his speech, also emphasised the importance of not interfering in a country’s domestic matters, especially armed conflicts, but instead engaging through development and equitable distribution of economic benefits. This year’s efforts are thus expected to focus on developing negotiations among stakeholders—domestic and external. Success in Cyprus will depend on communities’ progress on hydrocarbon benefit-sharing, until the mandate period ends.

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