The world needs to create conditions for “harmony between humankind and nature”, Secretary-General António Guterres said in Osaka, Japan, during a meeting on Saturday with the Foreign Ministers of China and France, on the margins of the G20 summit. More:
Opening remarks by H.E. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at the General Assembly Informal meeting of the plenary on “Combating Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Racism and Hate – The Challenges of Teaching Tolerance and Respect in the Digital Age“.
The Secretary-General strongly condemns the violence and reports of the excessive use of force by security personnel on civilians, that have resulted in the deaths and injury of many. He condemns the use of force to disperse the protestors at the sit-in site and he is alarmed by reports that security forces have opened fire inside medical facilities.
The Secretary-General reminds the Transitional Military Council of its responsibility for the safety and security of the citizens of Sudan. He urges all parties to act with utmost restraint. This includes responsibility for upholding the human rights of all citizens, including the right to freedom of assembly and of expression. He also calls for unimpeded access to deliver essential care at the sit-in site and in hospitals where the wounded are treated. The Secretary-General urges the Sudanese authorities to facilitate an independent investigation in to the deaths and to hold those responsible accountable.
The Secretary-General urges the parties to pursue peaceful dialogue and to stay the course in the negotiations over the transfer of power to a civilian-led transitional authority, as required by the African Union. The United Nations is committed to working with the African Union in support of this process and stands ready to support the Sudanese stakeholders in their efforts to build lasting peace.
Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
I want to express my very deep solidarity and admiration in relation to the people and the government of Tuvalu.
You are on the frontline of the war on climate change because climate change is striking in Tuvalu in a more dramatic way than anywhere else in the world.
I have enormous admiration for how you have decided to resist and you are implementing a programme of adaptation and resilience that is something that the whole world should admire and support. But it’s necessary that governments that are still causing the problems that affect Tuvalu understand that they need to change. They need to change their energy policies, their transportation policies, the way they manage their cities, the way they are using fossil fuels so that the impact of climate change on Tuvalu can be stopped. Climate change cannot be stopped in Tuvalu it has to be stopped in the rest of the world.
We will be fighting during our Summit in New York to make sure that all countries accept the commitment that we need to be globally carbon neutral by 2050 to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees.
At the same time, I want to express my deep solidarity and the total support from the United Nations to the government and to the people of Tuvalu in your determined efforts to preserve your country – physically, culturally, in the economic and social dimensions, as a rich component of the Pacific and the international community.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres saw the frontline of “the battle against climate change” for himself on Thursday, by taking to the tropical waters of the South Pacific off the coast of Fiji, on a solar-powered boat. More
Thank you, your Excellency Honourable Prime Minister, for your words and especially thank you very much for the extremely warm hospitality I have been enjoying in your wonderful country.
This visit has two dimensions: the Fijian dimension and the Pacific dimension.
In the Fijian dimension it is a visit of gratitude in which I want to express how much we appreciate the extraordinary contribution of the Fijian people and the Fijian Government to all the important areas of action of the United Nations and all the important areas of international cooperation.
Fiji has been a strong and committed partner in peacekeeping. Fijian soldiers and Fijian police officers have shown enormous determination, enormous courage, and some of them, unfortunately, have lost their lives protecting the lives of vulnerable people – of women, of children – in some of the most dangerous places in the world.
There is a depth of gratitude that all of the international community in relation to Fiji that I want to express very clearly, being side by side with a former peacekeeper.
Secretary-General’s remarks at the closing of High-Level Political Dialogue of the Pacific Island Forum, Suva,
15 May 2019
Thank you, Mr. President.
This has been a very illuminating meeting. I learned a lot. Allow me to extract four main conclusions from everything I heard today.
The first is that the Pacific Island States have the moral authority to tell the world that climate change needs to be reversed, because the Pacific Island States are leading by example. Even with all the difficulties – the lack of resources, the isolation, the distances, the lack of scale –the truth is that the Pacific Island States are not only building resilience and investing in adaptation to protect their citizens, their communities and their culture to protect their environment, but they are fixing for themselves very ambitious targets in relation to mitigation.
I heard today the very important commitment that the countries of the region are assuming to dramatically reduce emissions and be able to be fully in line with the target that we have all fixed to make sure that the temperature does not rise at the end of the century by more than 1.5 degrees.
I was surprised by the level of innovation you introduced, by the efforts made by the Pacific partnership in all its dimensions, by the commitments made by different countries in relation to their nationally determined contributions. This should be an example for the most developed countries in this world. I was surprised by the very advanced innovations announced using mobile technologies and mobilizing all capacities of the States in order to make sure that countries who are victims of climate change without contributing to it, that they do everything possible at their scale to reduce emissions and to show solidarity with the rest of the world.
This moral authority of the Pacific Island States needs to be clearly recognized.
UN Chief Outlines ‘Intertwined Challenges’ of Climate Change, Ocean Health Facing Pacific Nations on the ‘frontline’
Visiting Fiji for the first time as Secretary-General, António Guterres outlined two “fundamental challenges” facing leaders attending the Pacific Islands Forum on Thursday, namely climate change and the world’s rising ocean, which threatens to submerge low-lying nations.
“The Pacific region is on the frontline of climate change”, he said. “That means you are also our important allies in the fight against it”
The UN chief said that he was there “to see the region’s climate pressures firsthand, and to learn about the work being undertaken by communities here in Fiji and elsewhere to bolster resilience”.
Secretary-General’s Remarks During Visit With Muslim community in Christchurch
As salam alaikum.
I thank this community very much for their welcome – particularly during this holy month of Ramadan.
Every Ramadan I make a visit of solidarity somewhere around the world. Last year, it was in Mali – the year before that, in Afghanistan.
This year, because of the terrible terrorist attack against your community, I wanted to be here with you.
Ramadan is a season of reflection, remembrance and renewal. I am here to express my deepest condolences, my profound respect, and the fullest measure of my solidarity to you, your families and the community.
I know there are no words to relieve the hurt and sorrow and pain.
But I wanted to come here personally to transmit love, support and total and complete admiration. Continue reading →
Secretary-General’s remarks at press encounter with James Shaw, New Zealand Minister for Climate Change Auckland 13 May 2019
Today I had the opportunity to meet with New Zealand youth that are really in the front line of climate action. They very clearly recognize that we face a climate emergency and that we need to reverse the present trend which climate change is running faster than what we are.
I mentioned a few minutes ago that here from the Pacific we must send a very clear message to Governments around the world because political will is not yet able to accompany the pace of climate change and the message from the Pacific to Governments around the world is that indeed it is important to move taxes from salaries to carbon, to tax pollution and not people, that subsidies for fossil fuels must end, tax payers money cannot be used to boost hurricanes to expand drought and heatwaves, to bleach corals or to melt glaciers and that we need to stop the construction of coal power plants from 2020 onwards because we need a green economy not a grey economy in the world.
It was very reassuring to see that here in New Zealand there is a strong commitment of the Government in order to reach carbon neutrality in 2050 as the scientific community is asking as a way to guarantee a that at the end of the century we will not have more than 1.5 degrees of warming and at the same time a strong commitment to support the people that might be impacted by climate action.