2019 New Year’s Video Message
Almost half the world’s population is under 30 years old but youth represent less than 2 percent of all lawmakers. Young people are twice as networked as others and can use their potential to realize the Sustainable Development Goals. Today’s young people are raising their voices for equality, empowerment and the opportunities they need to help create a better future for all.
International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace
24 April 2019
This first observance of the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace underscores the value of international cooperation for the common good. For nearly 75 years, the multilateral arrangements established after the Second World War have saved lives, expanded economic and social progress, upheld human rights and, not least, helped to prevent a third descent into global conflagration. From the articulation of international law to the advancement of gender equality, from protecting the environment to limiting the proliferation of lethal weapons and deadly disease, multilateralism and diplomacy have a proven record of service to people everywhere.
But such cooperation cannot be taken for granted. This new International Day falls at a time when multilateral efforts are under pressure from unresolved conflicts, runaway climate change, widening inequalities and other threats. New technologies are creating diverse opportunities but also the potential for disruptions to job markets, social cohesion and the enjoyment of our rights. We are living with a paradox: global challenges are more connected, but our responses are growing more fragmented. We are seeing an increasing deficit of trust in governments, political establishments and international organizations, and the rising appeal of nationalist and populist voices that demonize and divide. This is very dangerous in the face of today’s challenges, for which collective action is essential.
In this difficult context, we need to recall the urgency felt by the founders of the United Nations and reinvigorate the Organization’s tools. The principles of working together endure, but the specifics must take account of our rapidly changing world. We need stronger commitment to a rules-based order, with an effective United Nations at its centre. We need a networked multilateralism, with close cooperation among international and regional organizations, including development banks. And since governments and international organizations cannot do it alone, we need an inclusive multilateralism, rooted in partnerships with the business community, civil society, parliaments, the academic and philanthropic communities and other stakeholders, in particular young people.
But it is not enough to proclaim the virtue of multilateralism; we must prove its added value. Nor is it acceptable to dismiss the doubters; we must show that multilateralism can respond to global anxieties and deliver a fair globalization that lifts all.
The United Nations Charter points the way, with its vision of people and countries living as good neighbors, defending universal values and recognizing our common future. Strengthening multilateralism means strengthening our commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and building a safer, more just world for future generations. That commitment is needed now more than ever – from the United Nations and from leaders and citizens everywhere.
Timor-Leste’s Commitment to Customary Justice and Conservation Sets Examples For Other Countries
DILI/GENEVA (16 April 2019) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, says Timor-Leste’s drive to promote indigenous customary practices has contributed to the progress in building the nation since the restoration of independence less than 20 years ago.
“I am impressed by the pride the Timorese take in their cultural heritage and how indigenous practices have translated into important gains in environmental protection and biodiversity,” she said. “These can serve as inspiring examples for other countries.”
For most Timorese, customary practices are an integral part of everyday life and play a central role in resolving disputes between individuals and communities, such as land disputes, conflict between communities and natural resources management. These practices focus on maintaining community and environmental harmony, in contrast to the formal justice system, which is perpetrator focused.
“Ensuring justice for all is a key objective of Sustainable Development Goal 16 and Timor-Leste could provide important lessons for other countries,” Tauli-Corpuz said.
2019 is International Year of Indigenous Languages.
“In 1788, before white settlement there was between two hundred and 300 Indigenous languages spoken in Australia and close to 600 to 800 dialects within those languages. Jump ahead 230 years, and the situation is not quite so good, with very few of those languages spoken or about 120 in fact of those are spoken in the country and of those about 90 per cent of that 120 are considered at risk.”
We spoke with Mr Craig Ritchie Co-Chair, Steering Committee for the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages. He is also Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies which is based in Canberra. Listen here.
ECOSOC Youth Forum, New York City, 8 to 9 April 2019
New York, 8 April—Nearly 1,000 youth advocates from around the world are expected to meet with government ministers and officials at the United Nations this month to advance the role of young people in implementing of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Youth Forum, hosted by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and co-organized by the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, is the largest gathering of young people at the organization. It is taking place as today’s generation of young people, the largest the world has ever known, are leading changes all over the world, demanding that their leaders take action to make the world more sustainable.
Today, there are 1.2 billion young people, between the ages of 15 and 24, making up 16 per cent of the global population. Most of them live in developing countries. Millions of them do not have access to quality education, decent work or other opportunities to realize their full potential. Many continue to face uncertainties due to conflicts, economic variability, climate change, and rising inequalities.
Message From The Secretary-General
World Health Day
7 April 2019
This World Health Day focuses on universal health coverage and the crucial role primary health care plays in making such coverage a reality.
Half the world’s population is still unable to obtain the essential health services they need. Universal Health Coverage is about changing this and ensuring equitable access to health services for all, without people experiencing financial hardship as a result.
This is central to building healthy societies and economies and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. And it is not just about improving health services. It is about policies and action across many sectors. We need to address the broader determinants of health, including social, economic and environmental factors.
And we must invest in people. We need highly trained and skilled health workers who can educate and advocate for their patients. We need empowered individuals who know how to take care of their health and that of their families. And we need communities to have access to health care when and where they need it. We must also highlight the importance of mental health, so often stigmatized and forgotten.
Primary health care is the key to achieving these goals and universal health coverage. Last year’s Astana Declaration has paved the way for the world to prioritize the investments we need. Now it is time to implement the commitments made.
Health is a human right. Political commitment and partnerships will be crucial in bringing it to life. Let us show the world that we are ready to bridge the gaps in health coverage worldwide and deliver health for all.
The increasing number of natural disasters and dangers linked to climate change, highlighted in a major UN report released on Thursday, represents “another strong wake-up call” to the world, which must be countered by finding sustainable solutions quickly, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said. More
Launch of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
Statement on the State of the Global Climate 2018 and an update on Extreme Weather in 2019, with UN Secretary-General, António Guterres; President of the General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, and the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas.
Asia-Pacific is a region like no other. This is an incredibly diverse group of countries.
Deputy Secretary- General Amina J. Mohammed
From large economies to the small island states, from G20 economies to countries facing long-lasting crises and seeking a transition back into development. From middle to low income countries – this region is a microcosm of our global community. More
21 March 2019
Racism: UN experts condemn mosque attacks, urge action against nationalist populism and supremacist ideologies
GENEVA (21 March 2019) – States must take urgent, concerted action to achieve racial equality and stop using nationalist populist rhetoric to stoke discrimination, says a group of UN human rights experts*. The appeal comes on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination:
“Less than a week ago, a white supremacist committed an Islamophobic terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 people and injuring many others. This tragic event reminds us that racism, xenophobia and religious hatred are deadly and that the result of ethno-nationalist populism and supremacist ideologies is racial violence, exclusion and discrimination.
The United Nations recorded a total of 259 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) during 2018, according to the latest report by Secretary-General António Guterres presented to the General Assembly. Although the figures rose compared with the previous two years, the report shows increased awareness among UN and UN-related staff, and improved and harmonized reporting tools across the Organization. More