Category Archives: Secretary-General’s Messages and Activities

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.

MESSAGE ON WORLD TOURISM DAY

The Secretary-General

MESSAGE ON WORLD TOURISM DAY

27 September 2018

 

“Tourism and the digital transformation”

 

The wide reach of tourism into many sectors, from infrastructure and energy to transport and sanitation, and its huge impact on job creation, make it a vital contributor to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the same time, tourism plays a pivotal role in advancing cultural understanding and bringing people together.

 

Yet tourism needs innovation in technology to realize its potential contributions.  Its benefits need to flow to host communities.  Governments can help to connect startups with investors to facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship, employment and a truly inclusive tourism sector.

 

Digital technologies have brought positive momentum to societies and economies around the world. They have connected us on a global level, helped to empower the most vulnerable and become our crucial allies for sustainable development.  Our challenge is to continue harnessing this power for good while safeguarding against the risks.

 

On World Tourism Day, I call on governments to support digital technologies that can transform the way we travel, reduce the ecological burden of tourism and bring the benefits of tourism to all.

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DEMOCRACY

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DEMOCRACY

15 September 2018

 

Democracy is showing greater strain than at any time in decades. That is why this International Day should make us look for ways to invigorate democracy and seek answers for the systemic challenges it faces.

This means tackling inequality, both economic and political.  It means making our democracies more inclusive, by bringing the young and marginalized into the political system.  It means making democracies more innovative and responsive to emerging challenges.

Working for a future that leaves no one behind requires us to consider essential pressing questions.  For example, what impact will migration or climate change have on democracy in the next generation?  How do we best harness the potential of new technologies while avoiding the dangers? How do build better governance so that democracy delivers better lives and fully meets the public’s aspirations?

On this International Day of Democracy, let us commit to joining forces for the future of democracy.

 

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST NUCLEAR TESTS

 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST NUCLEAR TESTS

29 August 2018

 

The history of nuclear testing is one of suffering, with the victims of more than 2,000 nuclear tests often from the most vulnerable communities around of the world.  The devastating consequences – which were not confined by international borders — encompassed impacts on the environment, health, food security and economic development.

 

Since the end of the Cold War, a robust norm has developed against nuclear testing, violated by only one State this century.  The strength of that norm has been validated by the international community’s overwhelming condemnation of each violation.

 

Nevertheless, the restraint displayed through voluntary moratoria cannot replace a global, legally-binding ban on nuclear-testing.  The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty has an essential role within the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.  It fosters international peace and security by constraining the development of nuclear weapons.  Our collective security demands that every effort should be made to bring this essential treaty into force.

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL MESSAGE ON FIRST INTERNATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF, AND TRIBUTE TO, THE VICTIMS OF TERRORISM

21 August 2018
Terrorism is one of the most challenging issues of our time and a serious threat to international peace and security. From Tajikistan to the United Kingdom, from Baghdad to Barcelona, these ruthless attacks have shaken us all to the core. No country can consider itself immune, with almost every nationality in the world falling victim to terrorist attacks.
The United Nations itself is regularly targeted. Twenty-two people lost their lives in the attack on the headquarters of the United Nations mission in Iraq, which took place 15 years ago this week. Some of our peacekeeping missions are under constant threat.
But after terrorist attacks, we rarely hear about those who were killed and injured; the ordinary women, men, girls and boys, who were going about their daily business when their lives ended or were changed forever. We rarely hear about their surviving families, friends and communities, who must learn to live with the burden of terrorism for their entire lives.
Today, the International day of Remembrance of, and Tribute to, the victims of terrorism, reminds us to stop and listen to the victims and survivors of terrorism, to raise up their voices and recognize the impact terrorism has on their lives.
We can all learn from their experiences. Communities around the world are demonstrating their resilience in response to terrorist attacks. They are countering terrorism and violent extremism in their everyday lives, in their schools, markets and places of worship.
Supporting victims and their families is a moral imperative, based on promoting, protecting and respecting their human rights. Caring for victims and survivors and amplifying their voices helps to challenge the narrative of hatred and division that terrorism aims to spread. We need to provide victims with long-term assistance, including financial, legal, medical and psychosocial support.

When we lift up the victims and survivors of terrorism, listen to their voices, respect their rights and provide them with support and justice, we are honouring our common bonds, and reducing the lasting damage done by terrorists to individuals, families and communities.
I thank those who are willing to speak out against terrorism every day. Your voices matter, and your courage in the face of adversity is a lesson to us all.
Today and every day, the United Nations stands in solidarity with you.

MESSAGE ON WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY
New York, 19 August 2018

We mark World Humanitarian Day every year on 19 August, to express solidarity with people affected by humanitarian crises and pay tribute to the humanitarian workers who help them.
This year’s commemoration marks the fifteenth anniversary since the attack on the United Nations in Baghdad, Iraq, in which 22 of our colleagues were killed. Since that tragedy, which led to this day’s designation as World Humanitarian Day, over 4,000 aid workers have been killed, injured, detained or kidnapped. That is an average of 300 fellow humanitarians killed, detained or injured every year.
Civilians in conflict zones also continue to be killed and maimed, deliberately or in indiscriminate attacks. Last year, the United Nations recorded the deaths or injuries of more than 26,000 civilians in attacks in just six countries: Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen.

Around the world, conflict is forcing record numbers of people from their homes, with over 65 million people now displaced. Children are recruited by armed groups and used to fight. Women are abused and humiliated. As humanitarian workers deliver aid and medical workers provide for those in need, they are all too often targeted or treated as threats.

On World Humanitarian Day, I call on global leaders to do everything in their power to protect people caught up in conflict.

And I call on all who are concerned to join our campaign at worldhumanitarianday.org to show that civilians are #NotATarget.

Together, we stand in solidarity with civilians in conflict, and with the humanitarian workers who risk their lives to help them.

 

MESSAGE FOR 100-DAY COUNTDOWN TO THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

13 June 2018

The International Day of Peace, observed every year on 21 September, embodies our shared aspiration to end conflict in all its forms and to safeguard the human rights of all people. It is a day on which the United Nations calls for a 24-hour global ceasefire, with the hope that one day in our lifetime we will witness an end to violence.

Yet there is more to achieving peace than laying down weapons. True peace requires standing up for the human rights of all the world’s people. That is why this year’s theme for the International Day of Peace is: “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”.

As the observance approaches, let us re-double our efforts to address the root causes of conflict and advance our work for the Sustainable Development Goals, including by promoting inclusive societies, providing access to justice and building accountable institutions.

Let us stand up for human rights for all in the name of peace for all.