Author Archives: United Nations Information Office

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY  FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY
FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY
17 October 2018

Twenty-five years ago, the world commemorated the first International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Since then, nearly 1 billion people have escaped poverty, thanks to political leadership, inclusive economic development and international cooperation.

However, many are still being left behind. Over 700 million people are unable to meet their basic daily needs. Many live in situations of conflict and crisis; others face barriers in accessing health care, education and job opportunities, preventing them from benefitting from broader economic development. And women are disproportionately affected.

Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, as embodied in Goal 1 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, remains one of the greatest global challenges and a major priority for the United Nations.

This year, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, let us remember that ending poverty is not a matter of charity but a question of justice. There is a fundamental connection between eradicating extreme poverty and upholding the equal rights of all people.

We must listen to the millions of people experiencing poverty and destitution across the globe, tackle the power structures that prevent their inclusion in society and address the indignities they face. We must build a fair globalization that creates opportunities for all and ensure that rapid technological development boosts our poverty eradication efforts. On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty let us commit to uphold the core pledge of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind.

Message on World Food Day

The Secretary-General

Message on World Food Day

16 October 2018

In our world of plenty, one person in nine does not have enough to eat.

About 820 million people still suffer from hunger.

Most of them are women.

Some 155 million children are chronically malnourished and may endure the effects of stunting for their entire lives.

And hunger causes almost half of the infant deaths worldwide.

This is intolerable.

On World Food Day, let us commit to a world without hunger — a world in which every person has access to a healthy, nutritious diet.

Zero hunger is about joining forces.

Countries and companies, institutions and individuals: we must each do our part towards sustainable food systems.

Today, we renew our commitment to uphold everyone’s fundamental right to food and to leave no one behind.

Thank you.

MESSAGE FOR INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR DISASTER REDUCTION 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE FOR INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR DISASTER REDUCTION
13 October 2018

This year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction falls shortly after a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia showed yet again the urgency of resilience and risk-awareness.

Disasters have a steep human cost.

Millions of people are displaced every year, losing their homes and jobs because of extreme weather events and earthquakes.

However, not all countries report systematically on the economic losses from major disaster events, according to a new report prepared by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

This year’s International Day aims to highlight the need for Member States to improve data collection on disasters, including comprehensive accounting of economic losses.

This is crucial for progress on crisis prevention.

For example, a better understanding of the economic losses from extreme weather events can help to generate greater action on climate change and increased ambition on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Measuring economic losses can also motivate governments to do more to achieve the targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which seeks a substantial reduction in disaster losses by 2030.

Reducing the economic losses from disasters has the power to transform lives and contribute greatly to the eradication of poverty.

As we mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction, let us reaffirm our commitment to this vital endeavour.

MESSAGE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF RURAL WOMEN 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF RURAL WOMEN
15 October 2018

The empowerment of rural women and girls is essential to building a prosperous, equitable and peaceful future for all on a healthy planet. It is needed for achieving gender equality, ensuring decent work for all, eradicating poverty and hunger and taking climate action. Yet, rural women and girls remain disproportionately affected by poverty, inequality, exclusion and the effects of climate change.

On this International Day of Rural Women, I call on countries to take action to ensure that rural women and girls fully enjoy their human rights. Those include the right to land and security of land tenure; to adequate food and nutrition; to a life free of all forms of violence, discrimination and harmful practices; to the highest attainable standard of health, including sexual and reproductive health; and to quality, affordable and accessible education throughout their lives.

Achieving this requires investment, legal and policy reforms and the inclusion of rural women in the decisions that affect their lives. By investing in the well-being, livelihoods and resilience of rural women and girls, we make progress for all.

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD
11 October 2018
Today, 600 million adolescent girls are preparing to enter a world of work transformed by innovation and automation. They are the largest generation in history and a vast source of ideas and solutions for all career fields. Yet far too often, girls are not given the space and opportunities they need to achieve their full potential. Multiple barriers include systematic discrimination, biases and lack of training.
We need concerted efforts to overcome the obstacles that mean that, for example, women make up less than 30 per cent of graduates in information and communications technology and occupy less than 30 per cent of research and development jobs worldwide
Negative gender stereotypes related to girls’ education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics begin as early as primary school, and have the devastating effect of making them doubt their own potential.
Although the number of girls attending school is the highest ever, many are still not getting the skills necessary for lifelong success. Moreover, it is estimated that five years from now, over one-third of the abilities considered important in today’s workforce will have changed.
We need to equip girls with transferable and lifelong skills such as critical thinking, creativity and digital awareness. Having role models will also be critical, especially in the sciences and other fields where the presence of women is sparse.
To help empower young people, I recently launched Youth2030, a strategy that aims to work with them, understand their needs and help put their ideas into action. On this International Day of the Girl, let us recommit to supporting every girl to develop her skills, enter the workforce on equal terms and reach her full potential.

MESSAGE FOR WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE FOR WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY
10 October 2018

Health encompasses both physical and mental well-being.

Yet for too long, mental health has been mostly an afterthought, despite its overwhelming impacts on communities and young people, everywhere.

This year’s World Mental Health Day focuses on young people.

One in five young people will experience a mental health problem this year. Half of all mental health conditions start by the age of 14. Most cases are, however, undetected and untreated.

Poor mental health during adolescence has an impact on educational achievement and increases the risk of alcohol and substance use and violent behaviour. Suicide is a leading cause of death in young people.

Millions of people are caught up in conflict and disasters, putting them at risk of a range of long-term mental health problems. Violence against women — physical, sexual and psychological — results in lasting scars, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Yet despite these challenges, a great deal of mental health conditions are both preventable and treatable, especially if we start looking after our mental health at an early age.

The 2030 Agenda is clear: We must leave no one behind. Yet, those struggling with mental health problems are still being marginalized.

Healthy societies require greater integration of mental health into broader health and social care systems, under the umbrella of universal health coverage.

The United Nations is committed to creating a world where by 2030 everyone, everywhere has someone to turn to in support of their mental health, in a world free of stigma and discrimination.

If we change our attitude to mental health – we change the world. It is time to act on mental health.

MESSAGE ON WORLD POST DAY 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON WORLD POST DAY
9 October 2018

With more than 600,000 offices across the globe, the postal sector is one of the world’s largest logistical networks and a vital center of community life everywhere.

This year’s observance of World Post Day highlights the sector’s value not just for delivering the mail, but for delivering good.

Resilient postal systems offer support during natural disasters, financial services to hundreds of millions of people; and essential information in times of crises.

This network, through its international treaties and emphasis on universal service, is a constant voice for multilateralism and force for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It also promotes literacy and education for children.

I encourage the world’s postal sector to continue its laudable efforts to advance progress for all and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Remarks to press on the awarding of the 2018 nobel prize for Peace to Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad New York, 5 October 2018

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

Remarks to press on the awarding of

the 2018 nobel prize for Peace

to Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

New York, 5 October 2018

I congratulate Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege on being awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. In defending the victims of sexual violence in conflict, they have defended our shared values.

Nadia Murad gave voice to unspeakable abuse in Iraq when the violent extremists of Daesh brutally targeted the Yazidi people, especially women and girls. As a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime since 2016, she has pursued support for victims of human trafficking and sexual slavery and justice for perpetrators. Her powerful advocacy has touched people across the world and helped to establish a vitally important United Nations investigation of the harrowing crimes that she and so many others endured.

Dr. Denis Mukwege has been a fearless champion for the rights of women caught up in armed conflict who have suffered rape, exploitation and other horrific abuses.  Despite regular threats to his life, he made the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a haven from mistreatment. The United Nations has supported his efforts. He has been a strong voice calling the world’s attention to the shocking crimes committed against women in wartime.  As a skilled and sensitive surgeon he not only repaired shattered bodies but restored dignity and hope.

Ten years ago, the Security Council unanimously condemned sexual violence as a weapon of war.  Today the Nobel Committee recognized the efforts of Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege as vital tools for peace.

By honouring these defenders of human dignity, this prize also recognizes countless victims around the world who have too often been stigmatized, hidden and forgotten.  This is their award, too.

Indeed, the award is part of a growing movement to recognize the violence and injustice disproportionately faced by half of our population.  Let us honour these new Nobel laureates by standing up for victims of sexual violence everywhere.

Protecting environment and adaptation to climate change

The issue of protecting environment and adaptation to climate change attracts a lot of attention at educational institutions of Kazakhstan.

On 25 September, the Specialized Lyceum 165 in Almaty had organized, in coordination with UNIC Kazakhstan, the mock UN high-level meeting dedicated to the issues of environment and climate change.

The program of the high-level meeting consisted of the introduction of the Chair, description of the issues and overview of the ongoing discussions and action. The high-level representatives of Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, China, USA, India, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Japan, and Libya took part in the meeting.

The “representatives” of the countries described the situation in their states, the national policies and programs, ongoing activities, efforts and accomplishments in reducing contamination and pollution of environment. Special attention was paid to development of the renewable sources of energy, use of clean materials, new technologies, processing of toxic industrial waste, and other areas.

Each country then stated its commitment and decisions on the further work.

The audience consisting of senior students of the Lyceum commented on the statements, asked questions, and added to the reports of the high-level delegates.

The statements, programs and reports on ongoing work were well prepared, referred to the real events, legislation, and were based on facts and scientific forecast. The working language of the “high level meeting” was English – also of very high quality, despite the intensive usage of official and specific terminology. 

Long Walk of Peace: Towards a Culture of Prevention

UNESCO’s new publication “Long Walk of Peace: Towards a Culture of Prevention” was launched in Almaty

On the eve of the celebration of the International Day of Peace, on 20 September 2018, the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty presented a publication that is the result of the joint work of academics, scholars and 32 United Nations agencies “Long Walk of Peace: Towards a Culture of Prevention”.

Mr. Norimasa Shimomura, UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan delivered a welcoming speech and congratulated participants with the International Day of Peace, the theme of which this year is “The Right to Peace: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.” In his speech, Mr. Shimomura said: “True peace requires standing up for the human rights, leaving no one behind,” and called for an inclusive society in which all men and women are treated with justice and equality and that they actively invest their knowledge and innovative skills into the country’s future.
Director of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty, Ms. Krista Pikkat, began her opening remarks with the words of the outstanding French lawyer and one of the authors of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Mr. René Cassin, who also had previously been quoted by the UNESCO Director-General, Ms. Audrey Azoulay: “There will be no peace on this planet as long as human rights are violated somewhere in the world”.
Ms. Pikkat presented to the audience the recently published book The Long Walk of Peace: Towards a Culture of Prevention, developed by UNESCO in cooperation with the Abat Oliba CEU University (Barcelona, Spain), within the framework of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures, 2013-2022.
This book is analyzing the meaning of peace as a key element of the UN activity and one of the main targets of UNESCO. In the setting of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDG 16 in particular, the book highlights the prospects of 32 UN structures on peacebuilding issues and considers the ways of their perception and promoting the peaceful agenda within their own fields of competence.
“Long Walk of Peace” is a new overview of the conceptual and practical approaches to peace after the establishment of the UN. Through thorough theoretical analysis with joint demonstration of innovative practices of UN agencies, this publication explores the long, sustainable path to peace and inspires for the way forward.
“Long Walk of Peace” is the result of joint efforts of scientists, experts and UN staff from various backgrounds. Thanks to its conceptual history and reliable analysis, “Long Walk of Peace” shows that the peace is a dynamic process and a continuous path of discovery. Thus, the book provides a unique understanding of emerging priorities for “maintaining peace” and promoting a “culture of prevention”.
This publication broadly reflects the mandate of UNESCO, serves as a laboratory of ideas and thereby promotes the main imperatives highlighted in the global Agenda 2030.
The event was attended by colleagues from other UN agencies such as UNIC, OHCHR, IOM, UNODC, UNHCR, UNAIDS, UN ESCAP, as well as partners of the UNESCO Almaty Office: Center for the Rapprochement of Cultures, Kazakhstan-Indian Fund, International Foundation for the Protection of Freedom of Speech “Adil Soz”, Olzhas Suleimenov Foundation “Culture”, Kazakhstan National Federation of UNESCO Clubs. The event was also attended by the representatives of the diplomatic corps of the Republic of Kazakhstan.