Category Archives: Message

Secretary-General’s remarks to the COP26 Roundtable on Clean Power Transition

Excellencies, dear friends,

I am very pleased to join you.

The year ahead is going to be critical, not only in beating the COVID-19 pandemic, but in meeting the climate challenge.

The central objective of the United Nations this year is to build a global coalition for carbon neutrality by the middle of the century. Continue reading

Secretary-General’s New Year’s message 2021

Dear Friends,

2020 has been a year of trials, tragedies and tears.

COVID-19 upended our lives and plunged the world into suffering and grief.

So many loved ones have been lost — and the pandemic rages on, creating new waves of sickness and death.

Poverty, inequality and hunger are rising. Jobs are disappearing and debts are mounting. Children are struggling.

Violence in the home is increasing, and insecurity is everywhere.

But a New Year lies ahead. And with it, we see rays of hope: Continue reading

Secretary-General’s message on the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness

This first observance of the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness falls at the end of a year in which a scenario many had feared came tragically true.

With COVID-19 having now killed more than 1.7 million people, devastated economies, upended societies and exposed the world’s vulnerabilities in the starkest ways, the value of health emergency preparedness has hit home like never before.  As we strive to control and recover from the current pandemic, we must think about the next.  Unfortunately, it is easy to imagine a virus just as infectious but even more lethal. Continue reading

Secretary General’s message for International Migrants Day

On this International Migrants Day, we reflect on a year in which, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions upon millions of people have experienced the pain of separation from friends and family, the uncertainty of employment and the need to adapt to a new and unfamiliar reality.

These are emotions felt by migrants around the world every day.

Across this challenging year, we have also come to appreciate our dependence on those who are too often invisible within our communities. Migrants have played an outsized role on the frontlines of responding to the crisis – from caring for the sick and elderly to ensuring food supplies during lockdowns – highlighting their broader contributions to societies around the world.

Just as migrants are integral to our societies, they should remain central to our recovery.

We must ensure that migrants, irrespective of their legal status, are included in every country’s pandemic response, particularly in health and vaccination programming. We must reject hate speech and acts of xenophobia. And we must find solutions for those migrants who have been left stranded, without income or legal status, and without means to return home.

On this International Migrants Day, let us seize the opportunity of the recovery from the pandemic to implement the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, reimagine human mobility, enable migrants to reignite economies at home and abroad and build more inclusive and resilient societies.

Secretary-General’s message on launch of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021

Fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of a healthy and varied diet.  They provide the human body with an abundance of nutrients, strengthen immune systems and help lower risks for a number of diseases.  Yet, despite these tremendous benefits, we do not consume enough of them.

By declaring 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, we are taking a closer look at a critical sector and urging the adoption of a more holistic approach to production and consumption that benefits human and environmental health. Continue reading

Secretary-General’s message to the Pacific Islands Forum High Level Roundtable on Urgent Climate Change Action

Excellencies,

I will never forget my last visit to the Pacific when I saw the heartbreaking impacts of climate change.

It is one thing to hear about rising sea levels and the devastation that climate change brings to communities and nations.

It is another to see it first-hand, to see the impact on people’s lives and to meet children who are anxious about their future. Continue reading

Contribution of life in soil ‘remains largely underestimated’, says UN agriculture agency

Even though soil organisms play a crucial role in boosting food production, enhancing nutritious diets, preserving human health, and combating climate change, the real contribution of these tiny life forms remains largely underestimated, the UN agriculture agency (FAO). More

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

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