Wind of madness is sweeping globe, says UN chief

EYEAFRICA TV: UN Headquarters, New York City: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday warned that “a wind of madness is sweeping the globe,” noting that “from Libya to Yemen to Syria and beyond, escalation is back, arms are flowing, and offensives are increasing.”

Speaking to journalists at the UN Headquarters in New York City, Guterres said there is a “feeling of growing instability and hair-trigger tensions,” which makes everything far more unpredictable and uncontrollable, with a heightened risk of miscalculation.

He added that Security Council resolutions are being disrespected even before the ink is dry.

“The disquiet in streets and squares across the world is proof that people want to be heard. They want world leaders to answer their anxieties with effective action. That means addressing cascading challenges and breaking what I call the vicious circles that define our day,” said Guterres.

Guterres expressed deep frustration with the situation in Libya, where truce and UN arms embargo have been repeatedly violated.

“I am deeply frustrated with what’s happening in Libya. And I think that what’s happening is a scandal,” said Guterres, who criticized the countries that met in Berlin in January in a bid to reduce foreign interference in the country.

“We had a number of countries coming together in Berlin, where they committed not to interfere in the Libyan process, and they committed not to send weapons or to participate in any way in the fighting. Now, the truth is that the Security Council embargo remains violated. We still see planes coming both to Misrata and to Benghazi. We haven’t seen any relevant stop in the disrespect of the arms embargo. And the truce that has lasted for a few days has been dramatically violated, and we have seen offensives and military operations of different sorts,” said Guterres.

Fighting in Libya has continued on the ground despite a most recent call for a truce by Russia and Turkey on Jan. 12 and the Berlin conference on Jan. 19.

On the new Middle East peace plan of the United States, Guterres said that the UN is totally committed to the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We are totally committed to the two-state solution, and we are totally committed to support Israelis and the Palestinians to come to a peace process with a two-state solution based on international law, based on Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, and based on the borders of 1967,” said the UN chief.

On Jan. 28, U.S. President Donald Trump revealed his controversial Middle East peace plan, also known as the “Deal of the Century,” calling for a two-state solution while recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided capital.”

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