Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, has called on protesters around the world to commit to nonviolence as they seek change while urging world leaders “to listen to the real problems of real people”.
The UN chief told reporters on Friday that “disquiet in people’s lives” had sparked protests around the world from the Middle East to Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
“It is clear that there is a growing deficit of trust between people and political establishments, and rising threats to the social contract,” he said.
“The world is also wrestling with the negative impacts of globalisation and new technologies, which have increased inequalities within societies. Even where people are not protesting, they are hurting and want to be heard.”
Guterres said people want their human rights respected, including the right to have a say in the decision-making process.