Category Archives: Message

Secretary-General’s video message to Human Rights Council Panel on the Fight Against Racism and Discrimination 20 years after the Adoption of the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

I welcome your focus and discussion on the fight against racism and discrimination two decades after the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action.

As I said in my address to the Human Rights Council this morning, the rot of racism is corroding institutions, social structures and everyday life.

We must do far more to address this scourge.  I welcome the efforts of the Human Rights Council to do just that.

Racism and discrimination are the rejection of all that we stand for. Continue reading

Secretary-General message upon receipt of the Human Fraternity Award

It is an honour to receive the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity.  I know this is also recognition of the work of the United Nations to advance peace and human dignity every day and everywhere.

I also congratulate this year’s other awardee, Latifa Ibn Ziaten of France.  Her dedicated efforts to support young people and promote mutual understanding, arising out of immense personal tragedy, have won admirers at home and beyond.

Discrimination, racism and extremist violence are surging across the globe.

As the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic crisis, a climate emergency and threats to peace, unity and solidarity are more important than ever. There must be no room for hatred in the future we are striving to build.

That is also very much the spirit of the pathbreaking efforts of His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb to advance inter-faith dialogue and promote our common humanity.

This award will inspire us as we continue that vital work.

In that spirit, I have decided to donate the prize money — $500,000 — to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to buttress its indispensable efforts to protect the most vulnerable members of the human family – the forcibly displaced.

Thank you again for this recognition.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

03 February 2021

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary General – on Myanmar

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the detention of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint and other political leaders on the eve of the opening session of Myanmar’s new Parliament.  He expresses his grave concern regarding the declaration of the transfer of all legislative, executive and judicial powers to the military.  These developments represent a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar.

The 8 November 2020 general elections provide a strong mandate to the National League for Democracy (NLD), reflecting the clear will of the people of Myanmar to continue on the hard-won path of democratic reform.  The Secretary-General urges the military leadership to respect the will of the people of Myanmar and adhere to democratic norms, with any differences to be resolved through peaceful dialogue. All leaders must act in the greater interest of Myanmar’s democratic reform, engaging in meaningful dialogue, refraining from violence and fully respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Secretary-General reaffirms the unwavering support of the United Nations to the people of Myanmar in their pursuit of democracy, peace, human rights and the rule of law.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

New York, 31 January 2021

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