Author Archives: Julia Dean

UN Secretary-General

INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, BIPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA MESSAGE

Around the world, millions of LGBTIQ+ people continue to face injustice, simply for who they are, or whom they love.

I am deeply concerned by continued violence, criminalization, hate speech and harassment against LGBTIQ+ people, and by new attempts to further exclude them from education, employment, healthcare, sports, and housing.

In many countries, LGBTIQ+ people are subjected to profoundly harmful practices, including so-called ‘conversion’ therapy, forced surgery and treatment, and degrading examinations.

Meanwhile, LGBTIQ+ people are among the marginalized groups that are worst affected by the many interlinked crises in our world, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the climate crisis, ongoing conflicts and growing inequality.

LGBTIQ+ people have the same fundamental human rights as everyone else. The solutions are clear.

We need to combat violence against LGBTIQ+ people; outlaw harmful practices; provide justice and support to victims, and end persecution, discrimination, and criminalization. We must tackle the root causes of the marginalization of LGBTIQ+ people as an essential element of the 2030 Agenda and its promise to leave no one behind.

The United Nations is proud to support and uphold the fundamental human rights and dignity of all people – including LGBTIQ+ people.

I call on everyone to join us to build a world of peace, inclusion, freedom and equality for all.

New York, 17 May 2022

Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance

António Guterres released the initial recommendations of his Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance (GCRG) on Tuesday, set up in response to the hunger crisis provoked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia and Ukraine represent more than half of the world’s supply of sunflower oil and about 30 percent of the world’s wheat. Ukraine alone provides more than half of the World Food Programme’s (WFP) wheat supply.

The war has resulted in disrupted supply chains and rising prices – not just of food, but also fuel and fertilizer.

When he announced the formation of the GCRG in March, Mr. Guterres called on countries to find creative ways to finance increased humanitarian and development recovery needs worldwide, to give generously and immediately release pledged funds. More

COVID-19 vaccine access in conflict areas remains critical

Ambassadors met to review implementation of two resolutions: one on the Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire during the crisis, and the other on cooperation to facilitate vaccine access.

Ted Chaiban, Global Lead Coordinator for COVID-19 Vaccine Country-Readiness and Delivery, highlighted the need for urgent action this year.

“The window of opportunity is gradually closing. We risk losing the momentum and failing on vaccine equity,” he said, speaking from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“We must therefore use every opportunity to bundle or integrate COVID-19 vaccination with other health and humanitarian interventions and leverage these investments for the longer-term strengthening of health systems.” More

UN General Assembly votes to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Thursday calling for Russia to be suspended from the Human Rights Council.

The resolution received a two-thirds majority of those voting, minus abstentions, in the 193-member Assembly, with 93 nations voting in favour and 24 against.

Fifty-eight abstained from the process. Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Vietnam, were among those who voted against.

Those abstaining, included India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia.

The meeting marked the resumption of a special emergency session on the war in Ukraine and followed reports of violations committed by Russian forces. More

‘Decisive steps’ needed to keep boys in school – UNESCO report

Although girls have more difficulty accessing education and make up most out-of-school at the primary level, challenges facing boys are increasing at later stages, according to a report published on Wednesday by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Leave no child behind: Global report on boys’ disengagement from education, sheds light on the factors driving boys’ disengagement from the classroom.

The report highlights a global phenomenon: Harsh discipline, corporal punishment, and other forms of violence at school; gendered norms and expectations; and other factors, are preventing boys from achieving academically, while increasing absenteeism and dropouts.

“To make education a universal right, we need to ensure that all youth have the educational opportunities to successfully shape their lives and futures,” UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said in the foreword.

“As this report underlines, we need to take decisive steps to keep boys in school and support them throughout their education”. More

UN climate report: It’s ‘now or never’ to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees

A new flagship UN report on climate change out Monday indicating that harmful carbon emissions from 2010-2019 have never been higher in human history, is proof that the world is on a “fast track” to disaster, António Guterres has warned, with scientists arguing that it’s ‘now or never’ to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Reacting to the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN Secretary-General insisted that unless governments everywhere reassess their energy policies, the world will be uninhabitable.

His comments reflected the IPCC’s insistence that all countries must reduce their fossil fuel use substantially, extend access to electricity, improve energy efficiency and increase the use of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen.

Unless action is taken soon, some major cities will be under water, Mr. Guterres said in a video message, which also forecast “unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, widespread water shortages and the extinction of a million species of plants and animals”. More

Watch: UN Secretary-General Video Speech to Launch of the IPCC Report

UN chief hails launch of new expert group to boost net zero climate change fight

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday urged private investors businesses, cities, states and regions, to do more to cut harmful greenhouse gas emissions, launching a new group of experts to help with realizing a net zero future.

Mr. Guterres’s comments came as he unveiled his new initiative to develop stronger standards for “net-zero” pledges by partners below the national government level, in the fight against climate change.

“Despite growing pledges of climate action, global emissions are at an all-time high,” Mr. Guterres warned. And they continue to rise, he said, adding that “the latest science shows that climate disruption is causing havoc in every region already.

The key objective is to stop global temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – as the international community agreed in Paris in 2015. More

A third of the world remains totally unvaccinated against COVID: Tedros

A third of the world’s population has yet to receive a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine, including a shocking 83 per cent of all Africans, said the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday.

“This is not acceptable to me, and it should not be acceptable to anyone”, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “If the world’s rich are enjoying the benefits of high vaccine coverage, why shouldn’t the world’s poor? Are some lives worth more than others?

He announced that to tackle future threats on a par with the virus that has now taken well over six million lives, and infected more than 483 million people, he said WHO was launching a new strategy to scale up genomic surveillance, for deadly pathogens that had “epidemic and pandemic potential”. More

UN chief warns against ‘sleepwalking to climate catastrophe’

The goal to limit future warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, highlighted in the Paris Agreement on climate change, and driven home in last November’s COP26, gathering in Glasgow, is now on “life support” and “in intensive care,” the UN chief told the Economist Sustainability Summit on Monday.

Speaking via video link, Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted some of the progress made at COP 26 last year but pointing to “the enormous emissions gap” conceded that “the main problem was not solved – it was not even properly addressed.”

“Keeping 1.5 alive requires a 45 per cent reduction in global emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by mid-century”, he said, highlighting how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatened to become a huge setback for the concerted effort to speed up climate action.

More

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
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MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF NOWRUZ
New York, 21 March 2022

Nowruz is a celebration of new beginnings. The beginning of a new year. The arrival of spring. The renewal of nature.

Nowruz is also a celebration of our diversity. It unites over 300 million people, between generations and beyond borders. It is a time to learn about each other, our cultures and our world.

And Nowruz is a reminder of everything we have in common. It promotes reconciliation and good neighborliness. It echoes the values of the United Nations of peace, human rights and dignity.

As humanity faces unprecedented challenges, let us be guided by the Nowruz spirit of solidarity and renew our pledge to live in harmony, protect our planet and leave no one behind.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful Nowruz.