USA | Guterres: Any peace will be short-lived without diverse voices

UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council that “without including a wide range of diverse voices at every step” of the peacebuilding process, “any peace will be short-lived.”

The UN chief, addressing an open debate on diversity, state building and the search for peace, organized by Kenya, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month, said, “peace is not found in a piece of paper. It is found in people. More specifically, a diversity of people from different backgrounds coming together to chart a common course for a country.”

Guterres said “while inequalities exist in every country, they are particularly rampant in countries where social services like health, education, security and justice are lacking. And where the scars of colonialism are still visible – seen in arbitrarily drawn borders, and historical advantages for certain groups over others.”

Against this backdrop, he added, “the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded inequalities, and reversed development and peacebuilding gains.”

Inequalities and weak governance structures, the Secretary-General said “create a vacuum that is easily filled by the voices of intolerance and extremism that can lead to violent conflict.”

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