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THE INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE TOTAL ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS 

At the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Secretary General Mr. Secretary-General António Guterres and the President of the 73rd Session Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés made statements that underline the position and actions of countries in the area of prohibition of nuclear weapons. The statements, although concise, reflect and commend on the position of Republic of Kazakhstan as the country that put forth many initiatives and is in the forefront of denuclearization.

Please see the statement below:

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

STATEMENT AT HIGH-LEVEL PLENARY MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO COMMEMORATE AND PROMOTE THE INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE TOTAL ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
New York, 26 September 2018

Last month, I had the extraordinary honour of visiting Nagasaki to commemorate the seventy-third anniversary of the atomic bombing.

The reality of the death and destruction caused by only one nuclear weapon – small by today’s standards – reinforced my personal commitment to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.

As the only weapons with potentially existential consequences, nuclear weapons pose a grave threat to international, national and human security.

The only sure way to eliminate the threat posed by nuclear weapons is to eliminate the weapons themselves.

Regrettably, the global security environment has deteriorated, making progress in nuclear disarmament more difficult yet also more important.

In truth, verifiable and enforceable efforts to reduce the dangers posed by nuclear weapons bolster regional and international stability, build confidence, and facilitate peace.

For all these reasons, I launched a disarmament agenda in May of this year.

The Agenda recognizes that progress towards the shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons remains uneven – efforts have stalled and, in some cases, may be going backwards.

That is why I have called for the resumption of sincere, substantive and results-oriented dialogue towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, as well as the implementation of existing commitments.

States possessing nuclear weapons have a responsibility to lead.

The United States and the Russian Federation – by far the largest possessors of nuclear weapons – have made enormous progress in the reduction of their nuclear arsenals.

I appeal to both governments to re-engage in the dialogue necessary to maintain their historic track record of bilateral arsenal reductions.

As a first step, the United [States] and the Russian Federation should move to extend the New START Treaty by the five years allowed for in its articles and commence discussions that could lead to further agreements on reductions.

Both countries should also work together to overcome their dispute on the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.

It is equally important that all States possessing nuclear weapons reinforce the norm against nuclear use.

I renew my appeal to them to:

• publicly recommit to the fact that a nuclear war cannot be won and therefore must never be fought;
• to refrain from developing new and destabilising nuclear weapons, including non-strategic nuclear weapons, and rethink costly modernisation programmes, and;
• to work immediately to fully implement all commitments undertaken on nuclear disarmament, especially under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

At the same time, all States have responsibilities in the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.

Chief amongst those is the fulfilment, in both letter and spirit, of their non-proliferation obligations.

Non-proliferation is central to the maintenance of international peace and security, and also essential for preserving an environment that is conducive to disarmament.

Disarmament remains essential for sustaining nonproliferation.

They are two sides of the same coin. Backward movement on one will inevitably lead to backward movement on the other.

All States should also work with nuclear-weapon States to bridge divides and seek a return to a common path toward the elimination of nuclear weapons.

I pledge my own personal support and that of the UN system in any and every way.

The United Nations has pursued the goal of nuclear disarmament since the adoption of the very first General Assembly resolution in 1946.

Such a challenging goal will not be achieved overnight. But we must take urgent steps now.
The time has come to make tangible progress to rid our world of nuclear weapons. I pledge my total commitment to work with you towards this shared objective.

Thank you.
______________________________________________________________________________
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

High-Level Ceremony on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

26 September 2018

Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for inviting me to participate in this important ceremony on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This event is one more step forward towards a world without nuclear weapons.

Today we are holding, at the ECOSOC Chamber, the annual High-Level Plenary Meeting on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

I had the opportunity to say a few words this morning to stress that the elimination of nuclear weapons remains a priority for the United Nations.

The very survival of humanity requires resolute agreement forbidding the use of nuclear weapons.

The adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017 was a historic step for multilateralism and international law. We look forward to achieving the 50 ratifications needed for the Treaty to enter into force.

I commend all countries present here for their determination and express hope that the momentum for nuclear disarmament will increase even more.

Thank you.

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SPECA at 20: Strengthening the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia to deliver on the 2030 Agenda 

Almaty (ESCAP/ECE News) — Marking the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), high-level participants from the seven landlocked participating countries – Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, recognized the benefits of regional integration and cooperation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region.

The 2018 SPECA Economic Forum was held in Almaty from 20 to 21 September, followed by the 13th session of the SPECA Governing Council. Jointly organized by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan – current Chair country of SPECA, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the Forum considered how developments in transport, trade, water, energy, the environment, statistics, ICT and innovation, and gender could transform geographical constraints into advantages, while other integration initiatives could facilitate the economic development of SPECA countries.

The Governing Council and the Forum agreed on a set of practical recommendations for structural reform to address the challenges of sustainable development in the subregion. These recommendations clearly outlined steps for strengthening SPECA as a unique platform to harness regional cooperation for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

“As a UN platform, SPECA can be a forum for the countries and development partners to join forces and work towards progress on sustainable development for the region,” said Ms. Monika Linn, Principal Adviser and Chief of Sustainable Development and Gender Unit at UNECE.

Mr. Hirohito Toda, Head of the ESCAP Subregional Office for North and Central Asia highlighted that high-transaction costs impede the integration of landlocked developing countries into the global economy. “Integration provides impetus for further economic diversification. Such economic transformation, however needs to consider its impact on gender, as well as the statistics needed to measure the resulting economic, social and environmental change, so that growth is inclusive, broad-based and equitable.”

Mr. Zavqi Zavqizoda, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan and Chairperson of the SPECA Working Group on Trade added, “Significant progress had been made towards the achievement of SDG target 17.10 on the promotion of a multilateral rules-based trading system under the WTO in the SPECA setting through the regional Trade Policy Forum in Ashgabat, meetings on Aid-for-Trade, and two readiness assessments of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.”

SPECA was established through the Tashkent Declaration of 26 March 1998 to promote regional economic cooperation in Central Asia and the integration of these countries with the economies of Europe and Asia. Stronger subregional cooperation helps countries to fully capitalize on their strategic advantages and jointly address their economic and social challenges.

The SPECA Governing Council elected Turkmenistan to chair the Programme in 2019. The next Economic Forum will focus on connectivity, trade and transport facilitation in the age of the SDGs. The Economic Forum and Governing Council session are scheduled to take place in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in November 2019.

MESSAGE FOR THE  INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

21 September 2018

This year we mark International Day of Peace as we prepare to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This foundational document is a reminder that peace takes root when people are free from hunger, poverty and oppression and can thrive and prosper.

With the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as our guide, we must ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

I encourage you to speak up. For gender equality. For inclusive societies. For climate action.

Do your part at school, at work, at home. Every step counts.

Let us act together to promote and defend human rights for all, in the name of lasting peace for all.

International Day of Peace 

21 September
“The Right to Peace: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
The United Nations Member States adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 because they understood that it would not be possible to build a peaceful world if steps were not taken to achieve economic and social development for all people everywhere, and ensure that their rights were protected. The Sustainable Goals cover a broad range of issues, including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice.

Sustainable Development Goal 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” calls for promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
A peaceful society is one where there is justice and equality for everyone. Peace will enable a sustainable environment to take shape and a sustainable environment will help promote peace.

2018 Theme: “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”
The theme celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On 21 September 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., the Secretary-General will celebrate the Day in the Peace Garden at United Nations Headquarters by ringing the Peace Bell and observing a minute of silence. United Nations Messengers of Peace will participate in the ceremony.
A live webcast of the event will be broadcast that morning at webtv.un.org.

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, 16 September

The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet.

The phaseout of controlled uses of ozone depleting substances and the related reductions have not only helped protect the ozone layer for this and future generations, but have also contributed significantly to global efforts to address climate change; furthermore, it has protected human health and ecosystems by limiting the harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth.

Keep Cool and Carry On: The Montreal Protocol

The theme for World Ozone Day 2018 is a motivational rallying call urging all of us to carry on with the exemplary work of protecting the ozone layer and the climate under the Montreal Protocol. The theme has two connotations – that our work of protecting the ozone layer also protects climate and that the Montreal Protocol is a “cool” treaty, as exemplified by its outstanding success.

What You Can Do:

  • Protect yourself from ozone layer depletion by avoiding excessive sun exposure.
  • Take care of your appliances to minimize ozone layer impact

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY  FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE OZONE LAYER 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY
FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE OZONE LAYER
16 September 2018

This has been a year of record-breaking heat around the world. It is also a pivotal time for climate action.

As we address this threat, we can draw inspiration from the Montreal Protocol, a shining example of how the world can come together for people and planet.

When science showed us that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other substances were tearing a hole in the ozone layer that protects all life on earth, the world responded with determination and foresight by banning them. Thanks to this global commitment, the ozone layer is expected to return to its 1980 levels by mid-century.

However, this work is not yet done.

The landmark Kigali Amendment, which enters into force on 1 January 2019, sets its sights on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), powerful climate-warming gases still used in cooling systems.

So far, 46 countries have ratified this new instrument; I call on all others to follow suit and show their commitment to a healthier planet. I expect countries to demonstrate significant progress in implementing the Kigali Amendment at the Climate Summit I am convening in September 2019.

For over three decades, the Montreal Protocol has done much more than shrink the ozone hole; it has shown us how environmental governance can respond to science, and how countries can come together to address a shared vulnerability.

I call for that same spirit of common cause and, especially, greater leadership as we strive to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change and mobilize the ambitious climate action we so urgently need at this time.

40 years since the signing of the landmark Declaration of Alma-Ata on primary health care

This 12 September 2018 will mark 40 years since the signing of the landmark Declaration of Alma-Ata on primary health care at the International Conference on Primary Health Care. The conference, held here in the city of Almaty at the Palace of the Republic, was the first of its kind to commit governments, health and development workers and the global community to protect and promote the health of the world’s population through a primary health care approach.

On the occasion of this 40th anniversary, the WHO European Centre for Primary Health Care of the WHO Regional Office for Europe invites local authorities, UN agencies, development partners, partnered universities, and professional associations to join the Centre in celebrating primary health care. We take the opportunity to welcome you to our offices, hosted at the Kazakh National Medical University, to hear about our work to analyse, advice and share on primary health care in the WHO European Region.

About the WHO European Centre for Primary Health Care

The WHO European Centre for Primary Health Care is a hub of excellence in primary health care and services delivery. The Centre sets out to ensure that the WHO European Regional Office for Europe is equipped to work closely with Member States in their efforts to establish people-centred services delivery. We are a team of health economists, social scientists, data specialists, academics and former clinicians who share the same passion for primary health care. The Centre is located in Almaty, the birthplace of primary health care, where the Declaration of Alma-Ata was signed in 1978. For more details on the work of the WHO Regional Office for Europe on primary health care, visit our webpage: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/Health-syste..

About the Open House and 40th Birthday Party
When: 12 September 2018, 15:00–17:30
Where: WHO European Centre for Primary Health Care, Kazakh National Medical University, Tole Bi 88, Almaty, Kazakhstan
RSVP: by 7 September for logistic purposes to eurocphc@who.int