Author Archives: United Nations Information Office

Message on United Nations Day

The Secretary-General

Message on United Nations Day

24 October 2019

United Nations Day highlights the enduring ideals of the Charter, which entered into force on this date 74 years ago.

Amid stormy global seas, the Charter remains our shared moral anchor.

At this time of turbo-charged change, the United Nations remains focused on the real problems of real people.

We are working for a fair globalization and bold climate action.

We are pushing for human rights and gender equality — and saying “no” to hatred of any kind.

And we are striving to maintain peace – while bringing life-saving aid to millions caught up in armed conflict.

The United Nations itself is becoming ever more agile and accountable as we enhance support to countries.

Next year marks the Organization’s 75th anniversary.  This milestone is a critical moment to shape our future, together.

I invite you to join the conversation.

Together, let us advance the well-being of “we the peoples”.

Thank you.


Message for International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

– – –

26 September 2019

Nuclear weapons pose a unique and potentially existential threat to our planet. Any use of nuclear weapons would be a humanitarian catastrophe. Much progress has been made in reducing the dangers, but today I fear that not only has that progress come to a halt, it is going in reverse.

Relations between nuclear-armed States are mired in mistrust. Dangerous rhetoric about the utility of nuclear weapons is on the rise. A qualitative nuclear arms race is underway. The painstakingly constructed arms control regime is fraying. Divisions over the pace and scale of disarmament are growing. I worry that we are slipping back into bad habits that will once again hold the entire world hostage to the threat of nuclear annihilation.

With last month’s expiration of the landmark Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty – or INF, the world lost an invaluable brake on nuclear war. I strongly encourage the United States and the Russian Federation to extend the so-called ‘New Start’ agreement to provide stability and the time to negotiate future arms control measures.

I also repeat my call on all State Parties to work together for a successful 2020 Review of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The Non-Proliferation Treaty remains the cornerstone of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons represents the concerns of many States about the growing threat of nuclear weapons. And the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty remains a long-overdue measure.

I once again call on all States to fully implement their commitments. I also call on those States possessing nuclear weapons to engage in the urgent dialogue needed to prevent the use of nuclear weapons and agree on near-term practical steps in nuclear disarmament.

Nuclear weapons present an unacceptable danger to humanity. The only real way to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons is to eliminate nuclear weapons.


UN Summit on Sustainable Development Goals

Press Release

UN Summit on Sustainable Development Goals kickstarts ambitious action
to deliver for people and the planet

States, businesses and civil society gear up for decisive decade for Agenda 2030

New York, 24 September 2019 – Four years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and with efforts off track for meeting its objectives, world leaders today called for a decade of ambitious action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and announced actions they are taking to advance the agenda.

In the political declaration, “Gearing up for a decade of action and delivery for sustainable development,” unanimously adopted at the opening of the UN Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals, UN Member States pledged to mobilize financing, enhance national implementation and strengthen institutions to achieve the sustainable development objectives by the target date and leave no one behind.

“The 2030 Agenda was a feat of multilateralism, and multilateralism is the only way for us to address complex global challenges faced by present and future generations,” said the President of the UN General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, who convened the summit. “A decade of action and delivery is our opportunity to fulfill the historic promise of the 2030 Agenda and ensure collective, global action and shared responsibility. We must take action – striving together, delivering for all.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in his remarks, urged Member States to live up to their commitments and called on all sectors of society to mobilize for the 2030 Agenda. “We must step up our efforts,” he said. “Now is the time for bold leadership, both individual and collective,” he emphasized, calling for ambitious action by Member States, local authorities, and the private sector, and asking the media, academia and young people to mobilize partnerships and hold leaders to account. “We need to move together, leaving no one behind,” Guterres said.

Leaders from government, business, and civil society are gathering at UN Headquarters for a week of summits and high-level meetings focused on accelerating action on the Sustainable Development Goals. Yesterday leaders announced potentially far-reaching steps to confront climate change, including initiatives to finance and build a new generation of sustainable cities, increase energy efficiency and support sustainable climate-friendly cooling, conserve and restore marine and terrestrial ecosystems, promote regenerative agriculture and the greening of supply chains, help people secure employment, improve health, and promote gender equality.

Actions announced specifically in support of today’s SDG Summit include, among others, Brazil committing to reduce premature mortality caused by non-communicable diseases by one-third by 2030; Finland pledging to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035; the Maldives partnering with Parley for the Oceans, American Express, ABinBev and Adidas to create a nationwide framework to deliver on many of the Goals; Mexico pledging to provide access to the internet for everyone including vulnerable communities; Greece committing to green growth through circular economy; the Netherlands doubling the target number of people who gain access to justice through Dutch support in parts of Africa and the Middle East; companies from 25 countries committing to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 as part of the UN Global Compact’s ‘Business Ambition for 1.5 °C: Our Only Future’ initiative; and Project Everyone’s ‘World’s Largest Lesson’ engaging more than 500,000 students in Nigeria in learning about the Sustainable Development Goals. The full list of more than 100 acceleration actions is available here:

Countries in 2015 unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the most ambitious undertaking to transform our world to boost prosperity and ensure well-being for all while protecting the environment.

The Secretary-General’s annual progress report as well as the Global Sustainable Development Report by a group of independent scientists issued in advance of the Summit found that progress made so far is in danger of being reversed through worsening social inequalities and potentially irreversible impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.

With hunger on the rise, greenhouse gas emissions rising, and the world’s most vulnerable bearing the brunt of conflict and inequalities, the two-day SDG Summit is bringing together leaders from governments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations to help generate the ambition and impetus needed to put the world on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

For further information:
SDG Summit:
Political declaration of the SDG Summit:
Acceleration Actions registered for the SDG Summit:
Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development:
Global Sustainable Development Report:
Annual SDG progress report:
UN GA high-level week:

Media Contacts:
UN Department of Global Communications:
Sharon Birch-Jeffrey,, +1-212-963-0564

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs:
Helen Rosengren,, +1-212-963-9492
Paul Simon,, +1-917-367-5027
Ariel Alexovich,, +1-917-367-6512
* * *

The Youth Climate Summit


Youth leaders vow continued pressure on governments and business
for urgent action to address climate emergency at UN Youth Climate Summit

Following massive rallies around the world for climate action,
young people highlight plans to mobilize and accelerate action

New York, 21 September—A day after thousands of young people marched and rallied for urgent climate action, young leaders brought their message to the United Nations for the Youth Climate Summit, the opening salvo of the three day long United Nations Climate Action Summit, which will culminate on Monday, 23 September.

The Youth Climate Summit—the first time the UN has convened a summit for young people completely devoted to climate action — aimed to give voice to the demands of young people to take far swifter action to reduce the emissions that, without action, are on track to reverse the development gains of the recent decades that have improved the lives of millions of people.
The Summit opened a dialogue between youth and decision makers, putting young people in the driving seat with voice and agency to realize their potential and the change they are persisting towards climate action.

Hosted by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the Youth Climate Action Summit brought youth climate champions together from more than 140 countries and territories to a platform to share their solutions on the global stage, and deliver a clear message to world leaders: we need to act now to address climate change. The outcomes of the Youth Climate Summit will feed into the Climate Action Summit, which will be attended by heads of state and government as well as business CEOs and civil society leaders.

Mr. Guterres, calling this generation of young people “essential” in combating the climate crisis, said today’s gathering was a critical milestone ahead of Monday’s Climate Action Summit, where he has asked world leaders to come with bold, concrete plans. He credited youth for shaking up leaders’ “laissez-faire” approach to climate change.

“We are not yet there,” Mr. Guterres said, adding that we are “still losing the race” against climate change. “But there is a change in momentum. Largely this change in momentum was due to your [Greta Thunberg’s] initiative, and to the courage with which you have started this movement.”

“Millions around the world [are] saying clearly, not only that they want change, not only that decision makers must change, but they want them to be accountable,” he added.

“I have granddaughters. I want them to live in a livable planet. My generation has a huge responsibility. It is your generation that must hold us accountable to make sure we don’t betray the future of humankind.”

The Youth Climate Summit featured a full-day of programmes that brought together young activists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and change makers committed to combating climate change at the pace and scale needed to meet the climate challenge.

The programme culminated in unveiling the State of Youth Platform and the ActNow platform that encourages people to take action on climate action. To close the Summit, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed took part in a Town Hall with the participants and high-level representatives from Governments and civil society.

Jayathma Wickramanayake, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, said “Climate change is the defining issue of our time. Millions of young people all over the world are already being affected by it. If we don’t act now, the impact will be severe.”

Global emissions are increasing, temperatures are rising and the impacts of climate change are growing. Climate change is already affecting the lives of all people, but for the 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 years, the issue is felt with far more urgency as it will shape their lives in ways never witnessed before. For the younger generation, the need for urgent climate action has never been clearer.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, the world is now experiencing the warmest five-year period on record. The average global temperature for 2015–2019 is on track to be the warmest of any equivalent period on record and is currently estimated to be 1.1°Celsius above pre-industrial times. Widespread and long-lasting heatwaves, record-breaking fires and other devastating events such as tropical cyclones, floods and drought have had major impacts on socio-economic development and the environment.

Sea ice and ice mass continue to decrease, sea-level rise is accelerating, and sea water is becoming more acid. Food insecurity and health impacts are growing. But the world is continuing to invest in fossil fuels.

Jayathma Wickramanayake emphasized that climate action must be fair and just. “We have to ensure that no one, especially young people, is left behind.” The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), she said, are a blueprint for the world to achieve sustainable development by 2030. Climate action (SDG 13) is crucial to achieve this.

Hashtag: Youth #ClimateAction Summit
For information on the Climate Action Summit:
Press Contact information:
Nicholas Ceolin, Office of the Youth Envoy email tel. +1 917 367-8575
Dan Shepard, UN Department of Global Communications, email tel. +1-212-963-9495

Mobile Film Festival on ActNow for climate action — call for entries

The Mobile Film Festival, an independent initiative based on 1 mobile, 1 minute, 1 film, has launched a special edition focused on the ActNow climate action campaign, in collaboration with UN Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Department of Global Communications (DGC), the UN Regional Information Centre (UNRIC), and YouTube Creators for Change.

The ActNow campaign, led by the UN Department of Global Communications, engages individuals around the world in daily actions to reduce our carbon footprint – like traveling more sustainably, saving energy, or eating less meat. More information – and the interactive ActNow chat bot –  are available here:

To participate in the Mobile Film Festival, anyone can submit a short film on climate action, made with a mobile phone or tablet, in any language. Chosen by a jury of prestigious professionals as well as through a public vote, the winners will receive awards in the form of creation grants and scholarships to assist them as emerging filmmakers.

Submissions are due by 16 October 2019, winners will be announced on 10 December.

Launch of a new UN News podcast “UNcomplicated”

Launch of a new UN News podcast “UNcomplicated”

UN insider Sinduja Srinivasan and UN outsider Jason DeWall, host the new podcast from the UN News team, which aims to explain, engage and inspire. The first episode travels with them as they go inside United Nations headquarters stepping into the General Assembly hall where the whole world meets, to collectively solve problems and promote a brighter future for all. The insider-outsider duo will continue to delve into UN issues, and unmask the often-complex processes, and global issues, dealt with by the international community.

Follow this series and our other regular podcast series “The Lid is On”, which covers a range of UN topics on UN News, UN News Soundcloud channel, as well as iTunes, Twitter and Facebook.

Champions of the Earth and Young Champions Awarsd

Champions of the Earth and Young Champions Awards

The Champions of the Earth award is the UN’s highest, annual accolade recognizing individuals and organizations whose actions have had a transformative impact on the environment. The associated Young Champions of the Earth initiative, in turn, is a forward-looking prize designed to breathe life into the ambitions of brilliant young environmentalists, aged 18-30, with bold, innovative ideas to address some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

This year’s laureate and winner announcements began on 16 September and will continue through to the award ceremony that will take place on 26 September in New York.


The International Migrant Stock 2019

The number of international migrants reaches 272 million, continuing an upward trend in all world regions, says UN

Increase in global number of international migrants continues
to outpace growth of the world’s population

New York, 17 September–The number of international migrants globally reached an estimated 272 million in 2019, an increase of 51 million since 2010. Currently, international migrants comprise 3.5 per cent of the global population, compared to 2.8 per cent in the year 2000, according to new estimates released by the United Nations today.

The International Migrant Stock 2019, a dataset released by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) today, provides the latest estimates of the number of international migrants by age, sex and origin for all countries and areas of the world. The estimates are based on official national statistics on the foreign-born or the foreign population obtained from population censuses, population registers or nationally representative surveys.

The International Migrant Stock 2019 presents the results of the 2019 revision of the UN’s estimates of the number of international migrants by age, sex and origin for 232 countries or areas for the mid-point (1 July) of each year: 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2019.

The 2019 revision of the International Migrant Stock and related materials are available at :

The SDG branding is now live on Times Square in New York City!

To highlight the need for more ambitious action to deliver the SDGs and to continue to engage with the general public, the 17 Goals are being showcased in Times Square this week, inviting everyone to stand behind the Sustainable Development Goals in advance of the UN General Assembly high-level week.

Starting today, Tuesday 17 September through Friday 20 September, the Nasdaq and Thomson Reuters electronic billboards will be showing each of the 17 SDGs.

The SDG Strategy Hub of the UN Office for Partnerships worked with the firm TBWA/Melbourne on this SDG activation in this iconic New York City location.

Files (credit UNOP)