Europe

New UN chief urges New Year resolution: 'Put Peace First'

  • FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2016 file photo, President Barack Obama pauses for media to take their places as he meets with United Nations Secretary-General-designate, Antonio Guterres, in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington. Guterres takes the reins of the United Nations on New Year's Day, promising to be a "bridge-builder" but facing an antagonistic incoming U.S. administration led by Donald Trump who thinks the world body's 193 member states do nothing except talk and have a good time. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2016 file photo, President Barack Obama pauses for media to take their places as he meets with United Nations Secretary-General-designate, Antonio Guterres, in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington. Guterres takes the reins of the United Nations on New Year's Day, promising to be a "bridge-builder" but facing an antagonistic incoming U.S. administration led by Donald Trump who thinks the world body's 193 member states do nothing except talk and have a good time. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2016 file photo, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, clasps hands with U.N. Secretary-General designate Antonio Guterres after Guterres was sworn in at U.N. headquarters. Guterres takes the reins of the United Nations on New Year's Day, promising to be a "bridge-builder" but facing an antagonistic incoming U.S. administration led by Donald Trump who thinks the world body's 193 member states do nothing except talk and have a good time. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2016 file photo, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, clasps hands with U.N. Secretary-General designate Antonio Guterres after Guterres was sworn in at U.N. headquarters. Guterres takes the reins of the United Nations on New Year's Day, promising to be a "bridge-builder" but facing an antagonistic incoming U.S. administration led by Donald Trump who thinks the world body's 193 member states do nothing except talk and have a good time. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2016 file photo, Antonio Guterres of Portugal, Secretary-General designate of the United Nations, speaks during his appointment at U.N. headquarters. Guterres begins a five year term as the organization's Secretary General on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. Guterres takes the reins of the United Nations on New Year's Day, promising to be a "bridge-builder" but facing an antagonistic incoming U.S. administration led by Donald Trump who thinks the world body's 193 member states do nothing except talk and have a good time. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2016 file photo, Antonio Guterres of Portugal, Secretary-General designate of the United Nations, speaks during his appointment at U.N. headquarters. Guterres begins a five year term as the organization's Secretary General on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. Guterres takes the reins of the United Nations on New Year's Day, promising to be a "bridge-builder" but facing an antagonistic incoming U.S. administration led by Donald Trump who thinks the world body's 193 member states do nothing except talk and have a good time. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)  (The Associated Press)

Antonio Guterres is starting his first day as the new secretary-general of the United Nations with an appeal to all people in the world to make a New Year's resolution: "Let us resolve to put peace first."

The former Portuguese prime minister and U.N. refugee chief made the plea just after taking over the reins of the United Nations from Ban Ki-moon whose second five-year term ended at midnight on Dec. 31.

Guterres said the only way to help "the millions of people caught up in conflict, suffering massively in wars with no end in sight" is for citizens, governments and leaders to "strive to overcome our differences."

"All that we strive for as a human family — dignity and hope, progress and prosperity — depends on peace," he said.