Category Archives: Secretary-General’s Messages and Activities

VIDEO MESSAGE FOR UN DAY 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

VIDEO MESSAGE FOR UN DAY
24 October 2018

United Nations Day marks the birthday of our founding Charter – the landmark document that embodies the hopes, dreams and aspirations of “we the peoples”.

Every day, the women and men of the United Nations work to give practical meaning to that Charter.

Despite the odds and the obstacles, we never give up.

Extreme poverty is being reduced but we see inequality growing.

Yet we don’t give up because we know by reducing inequality we increase hope and opportunity and peace around the world.

Climate change is moving faster than we are, but we don’t give up because we know that climate action is the only path.

Human rights are being violated in so many places. But we don’t give up because we know respect for human rights and human dignity is a basic condition for peace.

Conflicts are multiplying – people are suffering. But we don’t give up because we know every man, woman and child deserves a life of peace.

On United Nations Day, let us reaffirm our commitment.

To repair broken trust.

To heal our planet.

To leave no one behind.

To uphold dignity for one and all, as united nations.

INTERNATIONAL VERSION
https://s3.amazonaws.com/downloads2.unmultimedia.org/public/video/ondemand/SG_MESSAGE_UN_DAY_FINAL_CLEAN.mp4

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.

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.