Author Archives: cigisurrao

Secretary-General’s Address to the General Assembly

Mr. President of the General Assembly, Excellencies,

I am here to sound the alarm:  The world must wake up.

We are on the edge of an abyss — and moving in the wrong direction.

Our world has never been more threatened.

Or more divided.

We face the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has supersized glaring inequalities.

The climate crisis is pummeling the planet.

Upheaval from Afghanistan to Ethiopia to Yemen and beyond has thwarted peace.

A surge of mistrust and misinformation is polarizing people and paralyzing societies.

Human rights are under fire.

Science is under assault.

And economic lifelines for the most vulnerable are coming too little and too late — if they come at all. Continue reading

John Lennon, stamps inspiring message of peace, on UN’s big week

This year’s International Day of Peace has been marked by the release of new stamps featuring music icon and peace campaigner, John Lennon, by the UN Postal Administration (UNPA), as the UN General Assembly High Level Week gets underway.

It’s a reminder that as K-pop sensation BTS take UNGA76 by storm with their message of hope and youthful idealism for a better world, it’s a cause that many of their musical forebears have championed in the past.

Observed globally each year on 21 September, the Day is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among, all nations and peoples. More

Afghanistan: ‘Palpable’ fear of ‘brutal and systemic repression’ of women grows

Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last month, they have made some commitments to uphold human rights. However, their subsequent actions have “sadly contradicted” those promises, the UN rights chief told a side event of the General Assembly on Tuesday.

Michelle Bachelet informed a high-level event on safeguarding 20 years of international engagement in Afghanistan, that women have been “progressively excluded from the public sphere”, prohibited from appearing without a male guardian and face increasing restrictions on their right to work.

There is real and palpable fear among Afghan women of a return to the Taliban’s brutal and systemic repression of women and girls during the 1990s”, said the High Commissioner. More

World’s two largest economies commit to climate action – Guterres

UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed important commitments made towards climate action by the world’s two largest economies, as the 76th High Level Debate began in New York.

He hailed United States’ President Jose Biden’s announcement that the US would significantly increase its international climate finance to approximately $11.4 billion a year. “This increased contribution from the United States will bring developed countries closer to meeting their collective commitment to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance”, said the UN chief, in a statement.

Mr. Guterres also welcomes the announcement made by President Xi Jinping that China would end all financing of coal fired power plants abroad and redirect its support to green and low carbon energy.

Accelerating the global phase out of coal is the single most important step to keep the 1.5-degree goal of the Paris Agreement within reach”, he underscored. More

Secretary-General’s video message on the International Day of Peace

This year’s International Day of Peace comes at a crisis point for humanity.

COVID-19 has turned our world upside-down.

Conflicts are spinning out of control.

The climate emergency is worsening.

Inequality and poverty are deepening.

And mistrust and division are driving people apart at a time when solidarity and collaboration are needed more than ever.

As a human family, we face a stark choice —

Peace or perpetual peril.

We must choose peace. Continue reading

Exhibit- In Their Hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace

The inspiring new exhibit In Their Hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace, profiles 14 women from the Middle East, South America and Africa who have mediated with armed groups, participated in peace talks, advanced political solutions and advocated for women’s rights, alongside the women photographers who captured their stories.

Women play a central role in their communities, and ensuring their full, equal and meaningful participation in peace and political processes is vital. The exhibition is organized by the UN Department of Peace Operations, the UN Department of Political and Peace-building Affairs and UN Women, in partnership with New York City’s iconic Photoville festival. It will remain open to the public until December 1st. More 

Secretary-General’s remarks at the SDG Moment event

Excellencies, guests, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Our world is challenged like never before.

From climate change, to conflicts, to COVID-19, which is putting the Sustainable Development Goals further out of reach.

It would be easy to lose hope.

But we are not hopeless.

Or helpless.

We have a path to recovery.

If we choose to take it.

That’s what this SDG Moment is all about, coming together.

Coming together to save our planet and each other.

Coming together also with BTS today, which is a fantastic contribution.

Two weeks ago, I launched Our Common Agenda – a plan to re-boot the multilateral system and gather the world around our common objectives.

Because only by recovering together can we get the Sustainable Development Goals back on track. Continue reading

Call for ‘decisive action now’ to avoid climate catastrophe

Speaking alongside the UK Prime Minister in New York on Monday the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has called on world leaders for “decisive action now to avert climate catastrophe.” 

Mr. Guterres joined an emergency summit convened and attended by United Kingdom premier Boris Johnson, to press for more action on climate finance and other measures ahead of the watershed UN COP26 climate conference, which begins next month in Scotland.

The Informal Climate Leaders Round-table on Climate Action took place behind closed doors at UN Headquarters, as the high-level week of the General Assembly gets underway.

World leaders addressed the gaps that remain on the actions needed from national governments, especially the G20 industrialized powers, on mitigation, finance and adaptation.

“Saving this and future generations is a common responsibility,” the UN chief told journalists in a press stakeout following the event. More

GA76: Giant eco-friendly artwork set to inspire world leaders

A new 11,000 square metre ‘ephemeral fresco’ created by Swiss artist Saype, has set the stage at UN Headquarters in New York, to welcome world leaders for the General Assembly High Level Week. It shows two children building the world of the future using origami, highlighting the participation of young people.

World in Progress II is perfectly suited to our time and place. First, it is, in all senses, a big picture.  Both its execution and its subject are monumental and ambitious.  We have to take several steps back, just to view it in its entirety.  Then we understand that it shows two children, designing their ideal world together”, said on Saturday UN Secretary General during the unveiling ceremony.

“This year’s General Debate will take up this theme, focusing on the world we are building together. My recent report on Our Common Agenda recommends new ways for today’s decision-makers to better serve both young people, and future generations”.

Mr. Guterres said he was hopeful that world leaders will take inspiration from Saype’s art to consider how “we can look beyond our immediate surroundings, while respecting nature and our planet”. More

UN Careers Webinar for Mid-Career Professionals in the Pacific

United Nations Careers Webinar for Mid-Career Professionals in the Pacific webinar will provide guidelines and information regarding various employment opportunities in different fields within the United Nations, with a particular focus on mid-career professionals from Small Island Developing States in the Pacific, in the fields of Economic Affairs, Statistics, Social Affairs, Political Affairs, Human Rights, Ad. More

Date: Friday, 24 September 2021

Time: 10am to 12:00pm (AEST), 12pministration, Public Information, Information Management and Technology. m to 2:00pm (NZST/FJT)

RSVP/Registration form: