Author Archives: cigisurrao

Secretary-General’s message on World AIDS Day

With the world’s attention focused on the COVID-19 crisis, World AIDS Day is a reminder of the need to maintain focus on another global pandemic that is still with us nearly 40 years after it emerged.

Despite significant successes, the AIDS emergency is not over.  HIV still infects 1.7 million people each year and kills some 690 000.  And inequalities mean that those who are the least able to stand up for their rights are still the most affected. Continue reading

Secretary-General’s opening remarks at Thirteenth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

I am pleased to join you for the 13th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Later this week, we will also observe the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

I take this issue of disability inclusion extremely seriously.

Securing the rights of persons with disabilities is necessary for upholding the values and principles of the United Nations Charter.

That is why, last year, I launched a UN system-wide Disability Inclusion Strategy. Continue reading

The Writing is on the Wall: A​nnexation Past and Present

The Writing is on the Wall: A​nnexation Past and Present, is an exhibit examines the plight of the Palestinian people, focusing on the wall built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It explores this through the words of advocates and public personalities, and through images from artists and human rights activists who have used the wall as a canvas to express their solidarity with the Palestinian people. More

Secretary-General’s message on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

As the United Nations marks its 75th anniversary, the question of Palestine remains distressingly unresolved.

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the Palestinian economy and undermined the already fragile humanitarian, economic and political situation in Gaza, further entrenched by crippling restrictions on movement and access.

Meanwhile, prospects for a viable two-State solution are growing more distant. A host
of factors continue to cause great misery, including: the expansion of illegal settlements, a significant spike in the demolition of Palestinian homes and structures, violence and continued militant activity. Continue reading

First Person: ‘people with disabilities are the greatest untapped resource on the planet’

Worldwide, persons with disabilities experience higher levels of unemployment and economic inactivity than non-disabled persons. Ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Mike Hess, US-based entrepreneur and founder of the Blind Institute of Technology, spoke to UN News as part of the International Labour Organization (ILO) photography project “Dignity at Work: The American Experience”.More

Build on momentum to end violence against women and girls: Secretary-General

Although much progress has been made in highlighting the pressing issue of violence against women and girls, UN Secretary-General António Guterres is pushing the world to go further towards ending what he has characterized as a blight on all societies. More

Secretary-General’s message on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Violence against women and girls is a global human rights challenge.  The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed this issue as a global emergency requiring urgent action at all levels, in all spaces and by all people.  The social and economic fallout from the pandemic is disproportionately pushing women and girls into poverty, and the risk of violence against them is rising. Continue reading