UN secretary-general issues 'red alert' for world ahead of 2018

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Sunday lamented that the world in 2017 "went in reverse" after he appealed for peace in 2016, and warned conflicts could deepen in 2018.

"On New Year's Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert, a red alert, for our world," Guterres said in a recorded message. 

Guterres said new conflicts have arisen while others have deepened, and noted threats presented by climate change, nuclear war and human rights violations are all greater than before.

He also said nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise.

"I truly believe we can make our world more safe and secure. We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values. But we can only do that together," Guterres said. 

The United States has clashed with other nations at times throughout 2017. In particular, tensions have risen between the U.S. and North Korea, with officials from both sides warning war is closer than before. 

President Trump has also clashed with international bodies like the United Nations. He suggested earlier this month that the U.S. would consider withholding foreign aid for countries that voted to condemn the president's decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel.