Category Archives: Message

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

Secretary-General’s message on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Violence against women and girls is a global human rights challenge.  The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed this issue as a global emergency requiring urgent action at all levels, in all spaces and by all people.  The social and economic fallout from the pandemic is disproportionately pushing women and girls into poverty, and the risk of violence against them is rising. Continue reading

UN Secretary-General’s opening remarks to the 11th UN-ASEAN Summit

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour to join you for the 11th ASEAN-UN Summit, and I want to congratulate Viet Nam for its solidarity as ASEAN Chair and as member of the UN Security Council.

I wish to start by expressing my deepest condolences on the loss of lives caused by the recent floods and landslides in Viet Nam. The United Nations stands with you.

Continue reading