UN chief urges new efforts to prevent war and promote peace

The new U.N. secretary-general is urging the world organization and its 193 member states to stop focusing on responding to conflicts and do far more to prevent war and sustain peace.

Antonio Guterres said Tuesday in his first speech to the Security Council that the multiplication of conflicts and the human and economic costs demand a new approach where a key is "translating early warning into early action."

But he said it has proved very difficult to persuade national and international decision-makers to make prevention a priority, perhaps because "the television cameras are not there when a crisis is avoided."

Guterres urged "a surge in diplomacy for peace" and called on the council to make greater use of the measures in the U.N. Charter for the peaceful resolution of disputes.