The New Year has begun with our world in turmoil.
We are living in dangerous times.
Geopolitical tensions are at their highest level this century.
And this turbulence is escalating.
Even nuclear non-proliferation can no longer be taken for granted.
This cauldron of tensions is leading more and more countries to take unpredicted decisions with unpredictable consequences and a profound risk of miscalculation.
At the same time, we see trade and technological conflicts that fracture world markets, undermine growth and widen inequalities.
And all the while, our planet is on fire. The climate crisis rages on.
In many parts of the world, we see many people frustrated and angry. We see increased social unrest and growing extremism, nationalism and radicalisation, with a dangerous advance of terrorism, notably in Africa.
This situation cannot go on.
I have been following the recent rise in global tensions with great concern.
I am in constant contact with leading officials around the world.
My message is simple and clear: Stop escalation.
Exercise maximum restraint.
Renew international cooperation.
Let us not forget the terrible human suffering caused by war. As always, ordinary people pay the highest price. It is our common duty to avoid it.
On 15 August 2021, everything changed for women and girls in Afghanistan. First came the curbs on girls’ education and women’s right to work, then