H ow can we help the millions of people caught up in conflict, suffering massively in wars with no end in sight?” asked António Guterres, the new secretary-general of the United Nations, on New Year’s Day.
Having served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees for 10 years, Mr. Guterres is all too familiar with the wars that ripped local communities and whole countries apart in 2016.
From the siege on eastern Aleppo, to fighting in South Sudan, to displacement in Myanmar, to terrorist attacks around the world, the past year was one marked by many deadly conflicts.
But 2016 also bears lessons on how to overcome decades of strife, above all in Colombia, where government and rebels negotiated peace not once but twice, ending one of the world’s longest-running civil wars.
“Let us make 2017 a year for peace,” the UN secretary-general declared. It will not be an easy journey: as Colombia showed, healing the rifts created by violence cannot be achieved overnight. But in the end, isn’t this a journey worth making?
Co-editor, The World Weekly
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