UNITED NATIONS, October 25. /TASS/. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called on world leaders to listen to the needs of the people in light of the wave of protests across the world.
"We are witnessing a wave of demonstrations around the world, from the Middle East to Latin America and the Caribbean, from Europe to Africa to Asia," he said in a statement to the reporters.
"As I already said in my statement two weeks ago, I am deeply concerned that some protests have led to violence and loss of life. Governments have an obligation to uphold the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, and to safeguard civic space," he noted, adding that security forces "must act with maximum restraint, in conformity with international human rights standards" and calling on the protestors to adhere to the principle of non-violence.
"Above all, I urge leaders everywhere to listen to the real problems of real people. Our world needs action and ambition to build a fair globalization, strengthen social cohesion, and tackle the climate crisis," Guterres stressed.
The secretary general pointed out that while the causes of protests differ, there is a uniting element in all cases of civil unrest. "It is clear that there is a growing deficit in trust between people and political establishments, and rising threats to the social contract," he said.
"Even where people are not protesting, they are hurting and want to be heard. People want a level playing field - including social, economic and financial systems that work for all. They want their human rights respected, and a say in the decisions that affect their lives," Guterres stated.