"One year ago in this room, I spoke of winds of hope despite the chaos and confusion of our world. Since then, some of those currents continued to move in promising directions," he told world leaders gathered at UN Headquarters for the high-level week of the UN General Assembly -- the General Debate.
Against the expectations of many, elections unfolded peacefully in Madagascar, the Maldives, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to name just a few, he said.
Greece and the Republic of North Macedonia resolved their decades-long name dispute. Political dialogue in Sudan and the peace process in the Central African Republic have brought renewed hope, he noted.
In Syria, a long-sought step forward has just been taken on the political path out of the eight-year-old war. An agreement has been reached with all parties involved for a credible, balanced and inclusive constitutional committee tasked to rewrite the constitution for the war-torn country, he said.
"My Special Envoy (Geir Pedersen) just left Damascus after finalizing the last details with the government and the opposition. The United Nations looks forward to convening the committee in Geneva in the coming weeks."
Despite the above-mentioned achievements, conflicts persist, terrorism is spreading and the risk of a new arms race is growing, he warned.
"Outside interferences, often in violation of Security Council resolutions, make peace processes more difficult. And so many situations remain unresolved, from Yemen to Libya to Afghanistan and beyond. A succession of unilateral actions threatens to torpedo a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. In Venezuela, 4 million people have fled the country -- one of the largest displacements in the world. Tensions are elevated in South Asia, where differences need to be addressed through dialogue," Guterres said.