Category Archives: News

The Secretary-General   —  Remarks To Press On Russian Decision On Annexation Of Ukrainian Territory 

29 September

As Delivered

The Kremlin has announced that a ceremony will take place tomorrow in Moscow that will launch a process of annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

In this moment of peril, I must underscore my duty as Secretary-General to uphold the Charter of the United Nations.   

The UN Charter is clear.    

Any annexation of a State’s territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the Principles of the UN Charter and international law.

The United Nations General Assembly is equally clear.

In its landmark Friendly Relations Declaration of 24 October 1970 —repeatedly cited as stating rules of general international law by the International Court of Justice —  the General Assembly declared that “the territory of a State shall not be the object of acquisition by another State resulting from the threat or use of force” and that “no territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognised as legal”.

 And I must be clear.

The Russian Federation, as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, shares a particular responsibility to respect the Charter.

Any decision to proceed with the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine would have no legal value and deserves to be condemned.

It cannot be reconciled with the international legal framework.

It stands against everything the international community is meant to stand for.

It flouts the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations.

It is a dangerous escalation.

It has no place in the modern world.

It must not be accepted.

The position of the United Nations is unequivocal: we are fully committed to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions.

I want to underscore that the so-called “referenda” in the occupied regions were conducted during active armed conflict, in areas under Russian occupation, and outside Ukraine’s legal and constitutional framework.  

 They cannot be called a genuine expression of the popular will.

Any decision by Russia to go forward will further jeopardize the prospects for peace.

It will prolong the dramatic impacts on the global economy, especially developing countries and hinder our ability to deliver life-saving aid across Ukraine and beyond.

It is high time to step back from the brink.

Now more than ever, we must work together to end this devastating and senseless war and uphold the UN Charter and international law.

Thank you.

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General – on protests in Iran

The Secretary-General has been closely following the ongoing protests in Iran. During their bilateral meeting on 22 September 2022, the Secretary-General stressed to President Raisi the need to respect human rights, including freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

We are increasingly concerned about reports of rising fatalities, including women and children, related to the protests. The Secretary-General calls on the security forces to refrain from using unnecessary or disproportionate force and appeals to all to exercise utmost restraint to avoid further escalation.

We underline the need for prompt, impartial and effective investigation into Ms. Mahsa Amini’s death by an independent competent authority.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 27 September 2022

Referenda in Russian-controlled Ukraine ‘cannot be regarded as legal’: UN political affairs chief

Recent so-called referenda conducted in four Russian-occupied regions in Ukraine cannot be considered legal under international law, the UN’s political affairs chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, told the Security Council on Tuesday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also briefed ambassadors, blasting the “sham referenda”, though Russia objected to his participation via videoconference.

The country’s ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, said the President should participate in person, in line with the rules.  “The Council should not turn into a forum for political shows or cinema,” he added. More

Special Coverage of the 77th General Debate 20 September – 26 September 2022

The stage is set for the
general debate of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. As the world has begun to emerge from the worst of
the pandemic, the debate will be held largely in-person, with world leaders heading to NY to deliver their statements in the iconic Assembly Hall.

Here, UN News gives you a front row seat to all the action.

Rescuing the SDGs: the GA highlights ‘world’s to-do list’

The UN Secretary-General and the President of the 77TH General Assembly joined world leaders and Goodwill Ambassadors on Monday in a global call to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and get back on track to building a better world that “leaves no one behind”.

The 2022 SDG Moment, which places an annual spotlight on the 17 Global Goals agreed by countries in December 2015, took place as the world faces a deepening cost-of-living crisis against the backdrop of the Ukraine war and the COVID-19 pandemic, which have halted development, especially in low-income countries.

“The world has a long ‘to do’ list”, António Guterres told world leaders, asking for more finance and investment from the public and private sectors, to meet growing needs. More

Guterres: ‘Global addiction to fossil fuels’ must end and a ‘renewables revolution’ jumpstarted

Achieving a just and equitable energy transition is “one of the biggest challenges facing our world,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the Global Compact Board meeting on Sunday.

Climate disasters and skyrocketing fuel prices have made the need to “end our global addiction to fossil fuels” crystal clear, he said, underscoring the importance of investing in renewables, building resilience, and scaling up adaptation.

“Had we invested massively in renewable energy in the past, we would not be in the middle of a climate emergency now”.

Renewables are “the only credible path” to real energy security, stable power prices and sustainable employment opportunities, said the UN chief. More

Financing education, imperative for ‘peaceful, prosperous, stable societies’ – UN chief

Education systems around the world need “more, not less money” the UN chief told journalists on Saturday during a joint press stakeout on the Transforming Education Summit and the International Finance Facility for Education.

Secretary-General António Guterres, speaking alongside his Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, drew attention to the critical issue of innovative financing for education.

He reminded that the “world is experiencing multiple crises”, and governments, businesses and families everywhere are feeling the financial strain.

Moreover, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, two-thirds of countries have cut their education budgets.

“But education is the building block for peaceful, prosperous, stable societies,” he stressed. “Reducing investment virtually guarantees more serious crises further down the line”. More

Closing gender pay gaps is more important than ever

On average, women globally are paid about 20 per cent less than men, the International Labour (ILO) Organization said on Sunday, International Equal Pay Day.

While individual characteristics such as education, working time, occupational segregation, skills, or experience explain part of the gender pay gap, ILO says that a large part is due to discrimination based on one’s gender or sex.

Further building on the UN’s commitment against all forms of discrimination, including that against women and girls, Equal Pay Day represents longstanding efforts towards achieving the same wage for work of equal value. More