Author Archives: United Nations Information Office

MESSAGE ON HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON HUMAN RIGHTS DAY
10 December 2018

For 70 years, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been a global beacon – shining a light for dignity, equality and well-being … and bringing hope to dark places.

The rights proclaimed in the Declaration apply to everyone — no matter our race, belief, location or other distinction of any kind.

Human rights are universal and eternal.

They are also indivisible. One cannot pick and choose among civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

Today we also honour the human rights defenders risking their lives to protect people in the face of rising hatred, racism, intolerance and repression.

Indeed, human rights are under siege around the world.

Universal values are being eroded. The rule of law is being undermined.

Now more than ever, our shared duty is clear:

Let us stand up for human rights — for everyone, everywhere.

Thank you.

MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY
9 December 2018

Corruption is present in all countries, rich and poor, North and South.

It is an assault on the values of the United Nations.

It robs societies of schools, hospitals and other vital services, drives away foreign investment and strips nations of their natural resources.

It undermines the rule of law and abets crimes such as the illicit trafficking of people, drugs and arms.

Tax evasion, money laundering and other illicit flows divert much-needed resources for sustainable development.

The World Economic Forum estimates that the cost of corruption is at least $2.6 trillion – or 5 per cent of global gross domestic product.

And according to the World Bank, businesses and individuals pay more than $1 trillion in bribes each year.

Corruption begets more corruption, and fosters a corrosive culture of impunity.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption is among our primary tools for advancing the fight.

Sustainable Development Goal 16 and its targets also offer a template for action.

Through the Convention’s peer review mechanism, we can work together to build a foundation of trust and accountability. We can educate and empower citizens, promote transparency and strengthen international cooperation to recover stolen assets.

Millions of people around the world have gone to the ballots this year with corruption as one of their top priorities. On International Anti-Corruption Day, let us take a stand for integrity.

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY  OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY
OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
3 December 2018

More than 1 billion people in the world live with some form of disability. In many societies, persons with disabilities often end up disconnected, living in isolation and facing discrimination.

In its pledge to leave no one behind, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development represents a commitment to reducing inequality and promoting the social, economic and political inclusion of all, including people with disabilities. That means implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in all contexts and in all countries. It also means integrating the voices and concerns of people with disabilities into national agendas and policies.

Today, the United Nations is issuing the UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development 2018 – Realizing the SDGs by, for and with persons with disabilities. The Report shows that people with disabilities are at a disadvantage regarding most Sustainable Development Goals, but also highlights the growing number of good practices that can create a more inclusive society in which they can live independently.

On this International Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to work together for a better world that is inclusive, equitable and sustainable for everyone, where the rights of people with disabilities are fully realized. 

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY  FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY
FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
5 December 2018

There are approximately 1 billion volunteers across the globe, who dedicate their time, skills and passion to make the world a better place. They are often the first to act in moments of crisis. They create social bonds and give a voice to marginalized and vulnerable groups. And as the theme of this year’s observance highlights, they help build resilient communities, equipping people against natural disasters, political instability, economic shocks and other pressures.

In Malawi, UN volunteers have worked as interpreters, connecting refugees to institutions that provide assistance. In Sri Lanka, they have helped develop a project to empower women and youth to participate in peacebuilding efforts. In Tuvalu, UN volunteers have collaborated with the Ministry of Health to strengthen community safeguards against tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

The diverse and dynamic role of volunteerism in promoting the Sustainable Development Goals merits strong support from Governments and other stakeholders. On this International Day, I thank volunteers for their efforts to leave no one behind. 

MESSAGE ON THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONVENTION  ON THE PREVENTION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE AND THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF COMMEMORATION AND DIGNITY  OF THE VICTIMS OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE  AND OF THE PREVENTION OF THIS CRIME 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONVENTION
ON THE PREVENTION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE AND THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF COMMEMORATION AND DIGNITY
OF THE VICTIMS OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE
AND OF THE PREVENTION OF THIS CRIME
9 December 2018

In the aftermath of the Holocaust and Second World War, the world came together and adopted a convention to prevent genocide and punish those who commit this heinous crime.

Seventy years later, the prevention of genocide remains a cardinal task for our time.

That is why I launched an appeal for every country to ratify the Genocide Convention.

I urge the 45 remaining States to do so without delay.

And I call on all states to translate the Convention’s words into action to prevent massive human suffering and advance accountability.

At a time of rising anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry and other forms of hatred, racism and xenophobia, let us reaffirm our commitment to upholding the equality and dignity of all.

Thank you.

MESSAGE ON WORLD AIDS DAY 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON WORLD AIDS DAY
1 December 2018

Thirty years after the first World AIDS Day, the response to HIV stands at a crossroads. Which way we turn may define the course of the epidemic—whether we will end AIDS by 2030, or whether future generations will carry on bearing the burden of this devastating disease.

More than 77 million people have become infected with HIV, and more than 35 million have died of an AIDS-related illness. Huge progress has been made in diagnosis and treatment, and prevention efforts have avoided millions of new infections.

Yet the pace of progress is not matching global ambition. New HIV infections are not falling rapidly enough. Some regions are lagging behind, and financial resources are insufficient. Stigma and discrimination are still holding people back, especially key populations— including gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgenders, people who inject drugs, prisoners and migrants—and young women and adolescent girls. Moreover, one in four people living with HIV do not know that they have the virus, impeding them from making informed decisions on prevention, treatment and other care and support services.

There is still time — to scale-up testing for HIV; to enable more people to access treatment; to increase resources needed to prevent new infections; and to end the stigma. At this critical juncture, we need to take the right turn now.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence 

PRESS RELEASE

#HearMeToo:
16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

25 November 2018, Astana – On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, November 25, the nation-wide campaign “16 Days of activism Against Gender-Based Violence” has started in Astana with the support of the United Nations in Kazakhstan, National Commission for Women, Family and Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the National Volunteer Network.
The campaign will continue in 17 regional centers of Kazakhstan with participation of the activists from the civil society organizations, representatives of the local authorities and education institutions. The offline events include flash mobs and interactive theatre sessions, dedicated to the issues of violence, discrimination, victimisation, and stigmatization united by the theme #HearMeToo: End Violence against Women.
Recently global movements like “#MeToo”, “#TimesUp”, “#NeMolchi” has generated public conversations around sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women. For every high-profile case that receives media coverage, there are also countless women around the world who have been speaking out and taking action. The theme #HearMeToo : End Violence against Women has been chosen to amplify the diverse voices of women’s rights defenders and activists from around the world, to listen to and believe survivors, to end the culture of silencing and to unite for the good of women and girls.
“Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic. It is a moral affront to all women and girls, a mark of shame on all our societies and a major obstacle to inclusive, equitable and sustainable development. At its core, violence against women and girls is the manifestation of a profound lack of respect – a failure by men to recognize the inherent equality and dignity of women. It is an issue of fundamental human rights”, Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, stated in his message on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
“We still do not know the true extent of violence against women, as the fear of reprisals, impact of not being believed, and the stigma borne by the survivor—not the perpetrator—have silenced the voices of millions of survivors of violence and masked the true extent of women’s continued horrific experiences”, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, stated in her address on this international day.
The problem of violence remains topical for all the countries around the world. It is a violation of human rights and freedoms, including the right to health and integrity. The origins of all forms of violence are gender inequality and discrimination.
Kazakhstan’s statistics shows, that every third crime in Kazakhstan in 2017 was committed against women, including 83% of all forced sexual acts. The prevalence study on violence against women shows, that 17% of Kazakhstani women, who ever had an intimate partner, have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence; every fifth woman has experienced physiological violence; almost quarter of women have been victims of all three forms (physical, sexual and psychological) of intimate partner violence at some point of their life.
The campaign starts on November 25, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and finishes on December 10, on International Human Rights Day.

Follow the online conversation on Twitter and Facebook and support our campaign by using the hashtags #HearMeToo #Orangetheworld #16days and by following @UnitedNationsinKazakhstan @unwomencntrlasia, UN Women Central Asia.
Media enquiries:
Sabina Mendybayeva
Email: sabina.mendybayeva@unwomen.org 

MESSAGE ON THE OCCASION OF THE  INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE OCCASION OF THE
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
New York, 29 November 2018

This year’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People takes place at a time of turmoil, trouble and torment.
The decades-long Palestinian struggle for self-determination, independence and a life of dignity faces numerous obstacles, including: continued military occupation of Palestinian territory; ongoing violence and incitement; continued settlement construction and expansion; deep uncertainties about the peace process; and deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions, particularly in Gaza.
The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is providing indispensable services and needs our full support.
I urge Israel, Palestine and all others with influence to restore the promise and viability of the two-state solution premised on two states living side by side in peace, harmony and within secure and recognised borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both.
Let us reaffirm our commitment to upholding the rights of the Palestinian people and to building a future of peace, justice, security and dignity for Palestinians and Israelis alike. 

THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR
THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
25 November 2018

Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic. It is a moral affront to all women and girls, a mark of shame on all our societies and a major obstacle to inclusive, equitable and sustainable development. At its core, violence against women and girls is the manifestation of a profound lack of respect – a failure by men to recognize the inherent equality and dignity of women. It is an issue of fundamental human rights.

Violence can take many forms — from domestic attacks to trafficking, from sexual violence in conflict to child marriage, genital mutilation and femicide. It harms the individual and has far-reaching consequences for families and society. This is also a deeply political issue. Violence against women is tied to broader issues of power and control in our societies. We live in a male-dominated society. Women are made vulnerable to violence through the multiple ways in which we keep them unequal.

In the past year we have seen growing attention to one manifestation of this violence. Sexual harassment is experienced by most women at some point in their lives. Increasing public disclosure by women from all regions and all walks of life is bringing the magnitude of the problem to light and demonstrating the galvanizing power of women’s movements to drive the action and awareness needed to eliminate harassment and violence everywhere.

This year, the global United Nations UNiTE campaign to end violence against women and girls is highlighting our support for survivors and advocates under the theme ‘Orange the World: #HearMeToo’. With orange as the unifying colour of solidarity, the #HearMeToohashtag is designed to send a clear message: violence against women and girls must end now, and we all have a role to play.

The same message resonates through the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative. This 500-million-euro programme will empower survivors and advocates to become agents of change in their homes, communities and countries. But while this initial investment is significant, it is small given the scale of need. It should be seen as seed funding for a global movement. Not until the half of our population represented by women and girls can live free from fear, violence and everyday insecurity, can we truly say we live in a fair and equal world.

Population trends, impacts on sustainable development to be spotlighted at regional UN midterm review

19 November 2018                                                                                                                                        Media Advisory

Population dynamics are both drivers and outcomes of sustainable development. Population ageing, fertility decline, urbanization and migration require proactive responses to achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people, without compromising the needs of future generations.

Responding to this challenge in the region that is home to 60% of the world’s population, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are organizing the Midterm Review of the Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development Conference from 26 to 28 November 2018 at the United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok.

The regional intergovernmental meeting will review progress and set future actions on implementation of the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and recommendations of the 2013 Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development.

Over three days, policymakers, development experts and civil society representatives will engage in discussions on population dynamics and inequality, universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, vulnerable groups and resilience to climate change disasters. Outcomes from the meeting will inform the global review of the ICPD Programme of Action in New York next year.

What:                   Midterm Review of the Asian and Pacific Declaration on Population and Development

Where:               UN Conference Centre, Rajadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok, Thailand

When:                  26-28 November 2018

Who:                    Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP

Ms. Laura Londén, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director (Management) of UNFPA

Honourable Vaine Makiroa Mokoroa, Minister of Internal Affairs, Cook Islands

H.E. Richard Maru, Minister of National Planning and Monitoring, Papua New Guinea

Honourable Lanelle Olandrea Tanangada, Minister of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs, Solomon Islands

H.E. Mereseini Vuniwaqa, Minister for Women, Children and Poverty, Fiji (TBC)

H.E. Mr. Teburoro Tito,  Kiribati Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Media Highlights:

 

26 November 2018

09:00 – 10:00     Opening of the Meeting

10:20 – 12:00     High-level Panel: Progress towards the Implementation of the Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development in the Era of Sustainable Development

12:00 – 13:00     Side Event: Comprehensive Sexuality Education: A Foundation for Life and Love

12:00 – 13:00     Side Event: Leveraging on ICPD PoA, Beijing PoA and the SDGs to Promote Young People’s SRHR

13:00 – 14:00     Side Event: Raising the Bar on Gender Equality and Women’s Health in the Age of Climate Change

13:00 – 14:00     Side Event: Family, Community and State in Ageing Societies

27 November 2018

12:00 – 13:00     Side Event: A Multistakeholder Approach to Healthy and Active Ageing

12:00 – 14:00     Side Event: ICPD Works in the Philippines – From Advocacy to Legislation to the Community

28 November 2018

12:00 – 14:00     Side Event: Putting People First – Role of Impact Investment and Innovation Towards Sustainable Population Development

16:30 – 17:00     Closing of the Meeting

 

Note to Editors:

The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) marked a new chapter on how countries approached population dynamics. In 1994, 179 governments agreed to put people and their rights at the heart of development. Diverse views on human rights, population, population age structures, migration and urbanization, sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and sustainable development merged into a remarkable global consensus: the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action. Twenty years later, a comprehensive review of the ICPD overwhelmingly supported the consensus that investing in individual human rights, capabilities and dignity is the foundation of sustainable development. In this context, ESCAP, in partnership with UNFPA, is supporting countries in Asia and the Pacific to implement the ICPD Programme of Action.

 

Media Accreditation:

Please provide the following to <escap-scas@un.org> (First Name; Last Name; Nationality; ID/Passport Number/copy of passport; Email Address; Mobile Number; News Agency, and latest electronic copy of a passport-sized photo).

For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Kavita Sukanandan, Public Information Officer, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP, T: (66) 2 288 1869 / E:sukanandan@un.org

Mr. Roy Wadia, Regional Communications Adviser for Asia and the Pacific, UNFPA, T: (66) 848 752 634/ E:wadia@unfpa.org

Ms. Celeste Hibbert, Communications Specialist, UNFPA Asia-Pacific, T: (66) 2 687 0118 / E:hibbert@unfpa.org

————————-

For more information visit our website www.unescap.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube at @unescap