A faltering global economy struggled to get back on its feet in 2023 amid an international landscape undergoing rapid change. International organizations and leaders from various countries issued New Year’s messages, calling on people to work together, maintain peace and collaboratively seek unity in 2024.
“We have proven time and time again that we can solve even the most difficult problems, and we will never back down because there is no force that can divide us,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his New Year address on Sunday.
Putin wished Russian families all the best. “We are one country, one big family.”
“We will ensure the confident development of the fatherland, the well-being of our citizens, and we will become even stronger,” he added.
In his traditional New Year’s Eve address, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed on Sunday that 2024 would be “a year of determination” for France.
Marked by bloodshed in Ukraine, the Middle East and Gaza, he noted that 41 French citizens were killed and others taken hostage, affirming, “We are not forgetting (the victims).”
Macron also said that next year will be a year of “French pride and hope,” marked by the Paris Olympic Games and the re-opening of Notre Dame Cathedral.
Giving his New Year address via social media platform X, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Palestinian-Israeli conflict have “unfortunately” affected many people’s lives.
“Perhaps people will feel sad when they look back on the past year,” he said. “But we should continue to stay united and support each other in the new year.”
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro shared his New Year’s Eve message on Sunday, highlighting “the struggles and successes” of the South American country in 2023 and forecasted fresh achievements for 2024. The president hoped 2024 would bring “prosperity and new opportunities.”
Facing current issues of unemployment, poverty, crime and frequent blackouts, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that the country would confront these problems and continue striving to overcome historical challenges.
Amid the adversity, Ramaphosa called on citizens “not to lose hope,” emphasizing that 2024 is “an opportunity for positive change and progress.”
On the eve of another challenging year on Sunday, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel called upon the Cuban population to embrace 2024 with “passion and joy.” Diaz-Canel said the socialist ideal means “that each goal is a new starting point.”
Cameroonian President Paul Biya highlighted that global dynamics, especially regional conflicts, disrupted global supply chains, spiking food and energy costs and tightening conditions for external financing.
“Despite difficult situations,” he said, “we continued to cope together, like the united and close-knit nation that we have always been, our eyes riveted on a single objective, the only one that matters, namely progress.”
The top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un was quoted by the official Korean Central News Agency as saying: “2023 is a year of great turn and change both in name and reality when the DPRK left a great footprint in the glorious course of its development in the efforts to improve the national power and to enhance the prestige of the country.”
Kim also noted the country’s progress in major economic sectors, housing, scientific development and “the great success” in strengthening the country’s defense capabilities.
On Sunday, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe called on Sri Lankans to fulfill their responsibilities for the “greater good of the country,” acknowledging both the past and the future. “Through responsible and dedicated efforts, let us strive to make the New Year a prosperous one,” he said.
Noting that “The responsibility to contribute to this national resurgence rests upon every Sri Lankan,” Wickremesinghe emphasized the importance of collective effort and unity among the people.
In the New Year message, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev characterized the outgoing year as “a successful one for Uzbekistan and its people,” emphasizing the country’s stable economic growth.
“We will step up the attraction of foreign investment and the formation of broad opportunities for entrepreneurship and private property,” he said, noting that the country aims to build a strong economy.
In a New Year message delivered late on Sunday, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim pledged to prioritize economic development that will directly benefit the people.
“The true measure is the well-being, welfare and prosperity of the people … for those facing hardships in their lives and with the cost of living, it must be promptly addressed,” he said in a recorded video message.
On Sunday, Malta’s Prime Minister Robert Abela said the country will “keep moving forward” and start a new year despite all the challenges surrounding it.
“We believe in people, we believe in peace,” he said.