United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, kicking off a weeklong trip to the Pacific region where he will be calling for action on climate change. After meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the Secretary-General hailed the partnership between New Zealand and the United Nations.
Secretary-General’s remarks to Māori and Pasifika youth at event hosted by James Shaw, New Zealand Minister for Climate Change Auckland, 13 May 2019
Dear friends, it is an enormous pleasure to be here with some of the members of Generation Zero representing the very important leadership that youth around the world is providing to make sure that we are able to reach our central objective: not to have more than 1.5 degrees of increasing temperature at the end of the century.
The international community , and especially the scientific community, has been very clear that to reach this goal we absolutely need to have carbon neutrality by 2050. I’m extremely grateful to the leadership of New Zealand in this regard and extremely grateful to the leadership to the youth in New Zealand in this regard.
I’m confident that youth around the world will be able to convey to their governments a very clear message which is the message that I would like to convey here from the Pacific.
First, shift taxes from salaries to carbon. We must tax pollution not people.
Second stop subsidies to fossil fuels. Taxpayers’ money should not be used to boost hurricanes, to spread drought and heat waves, to bleach corals or to melt glaciers.
Finally, stop the construction of new coal plants by 2020. We want a green economy not a grey economy in the world.
It is very important that around the world young people, civil society and those that in the business community have understood that the green economy is the economy of the future and the grey economy has no future, it’s very important that you convince governments that they must act because there’s still a lot of resistance.
I went to Katowice not one, but three times, and I felt that resistance. Governments are still afraid to move forward. They feel the costs of climate action forgetting that the costs of inaction are much bigger than any costs of climate action. It’s very good to see – as we know, that nature does not negotiate – it’s very good to see youth in the frontline and I’m delighted to be with you here today and to learn from you, what you want us to do.
Thank you very much for your presence and it’s very important that your own government recognizes you’re a very important influence in what has been the exemplary New Zealand leadership in this regard.
It is nothing less than a “moral, ethical and economic imperative” to take more action to mitigate the existential threat posed
by climate change, said top executives from across the United Nations system.
Secretary-General’s upcoming travel to Geneva and the South Pacific
On May 12, the Secretary-General will travel to the South Pacific to spotlight the issue of climate change ahead of the Climate Action Summit that he is convening in September in New York. This visit will take him to New Zealand, Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
In each country, the Secretary-General will meet government leaders, civil society representatives and youth groups to hear from those already impacted by climate change and who are also successfully engaging in meaningful climate action.
In Fiji, the Secretary-General will be at the Pacific Island Forum, where he will meet with senior governments officials from each Member State in attendance, as well as with members of civil society.
In New Zealand, the Secretary-General will meet with Muslim leaders in Christchurch to express his solidarity following the 15 March terrorist attack.
Prior to traveling to the Pacific, the Secretary-General will be in Geneva from 8-10 May to attend the spring meeting of the UN Chief Executives Board (CEB). This is one of the semi-annual meetings that brings together, under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General, the executive heads of 31 UN system entities. This session, which will be hosted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, will focus on the future of work in the digital age. The heads of the UN entities will also look to agree on ambitious and concrete steps to address climate change in advance of the September Climate Summit.
While in Geneva, the Secretary-General will also address a special session of the World Trade Organization’s General Council, where he will stress the importance of preserving the multilateral rules-based order – including on trade – for a fair globalization and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Secretary-General will be back in New York on 19 May.
Video message from H.E. António Guterres , United Nations Secretary General, on World Press Freedom Day 2019.
A free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights.
No democracy is complete without access to transparent and reliable information. It is the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions, holding leaders accountable and speaking truth to power.
This is especially true during election seasons — the focus of this year’s World Press Freedom Day.
Facts, not falsehoods, should guide people as they choose their representatives.
Yet while technology has transformed the ways in which we receive and share information, sometimes it is used to mislead public opinion or to fuel violence and hatred.
Civic space is been shrinking worldwide at an alarming rate.
And with anti-media rhetoric on the rise, so too are violence and harassment against journalists, including women.
I am deeply troubled by the growing number of attacks and the culture of impunity.
According to UNESCO, almost 100 journalists were killed in 2018.
Hundreds are imprisoned.
When media workers are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price.
On World Press Freedom Day, I call on all to defend the rights of journalists, whose efforts help us to build a better world for all.
Statement by the Secretary-General
A “disturbing groundswell” of hate-based violence and intolerance aimed at worshippers across all faiths, must be countered soon before it’s too late, the United Nations Secretary-General said on Monday, noting murderous attacks in just the past few days on a synagogue in California, and a church in Burkina Faso.
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.