Tag Archives: #UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Note to Correspondents – on Afghanistan

The Secretary-General is following with deep concern the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan. He urges the Taliban and all other parties to exercise utmost restraint in order to protect lives and ensure that humanitarian needs can be addressed.

Conflict is forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. There continue to be reports of serious human rights abuses and violations in the communities most affected by the fighting. The Secretary-General is particularly concerned about the future of women and girls, whose hard-won rights must be protected. All abuses must stop. He calls on the Taliban and all other parties to ensure that international humanitarian law and the rights and freedoms of all people are respected and protected.

The need for assistance is surging while the operating environment becomes more restricted due to the escalation of the conflict. The Secretary-General calls on all parties to ensure that humanitarian actors have unimpeded access to deliver timely and life-saving services and assistance.

The United Nations remains determined to contribute to a peaceful settlement, promote the human rights of all Afghans, notably women and girls, and provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and critical support to civilians in need.

On Monday, the Secretary-General will address the Security Council’s open meeting on Afghanistan.

Secretary-General’s Statement On The IPCC Working Group 1 Report On The Physical Science Basis Of The Sixth Assessment

Today’s IPCC Working Group 1 Report is a code red for humanity.  The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable:  greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk. Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible.

The internationally agreed threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius is perilously close.

We are at imminent risk of hitting 1.5 degrees in the near term. The only way to prevent exceeding this threshold is by urgently stepping up our efforts, and pursuing the most ambitious path.

We must act decisively now to keep 1.5 alive.

We are already at 1.2 degrees and rising. Warming has accelerated in recent decades. Every fraction of a degree counts.  Greenhouse gas concentrations are at record levels. Extreme weather and climate disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity. That is why this year’s United Nations climate conference in Glasgow is so important.

The viability of our societies depends on leaders from government, business        and civil society uniting behind policies, actions and investments that will limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  We owe this to the entire human family, especially the poorest and most vulnerable communities and nations that are the hardest hit despite being least responsible for today’s climate emergency.

The solutions are clear.  Inclusive and green economies, prosperity, cleaner air and better health are possible for all if we respond to this crisis with solidarity and courage.  All nations, especially the G20 and other major emitters, need to join the net zero emissions coalition and reinforce their commitments with credible, concrete and enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions and policies before COP26 in Glasgow.

We need immediate action on energy. Without deep carbon pollution cuts now, the 1.5-degree goal will fall quickly out of reach. This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet.  There must be no new coal plants built after 2021.  OECD countries must phase out existing coal by 2030, with all others following suit by 2040.  Countries should also end all new fossil fuel exploration and production, and shift fossil    fuel subsidies into renewable energy.  By 2030, solar and wind capacity should quadruple and renewable energy investments should triple to maintain a net zero trajectory by mid-century.

Climate impacts will undoubtedly worsen.  There is a clear moral and economic imperative to protect the lives and livelihoods of those on the front lines of the climate crisis.  Adaptation and resilience finance must cease being the neglected half of the climate equation.  Only 21 per cent of climate support is directed towards adaptation.  I again call on donors and the multilateral development   banks to allocate at least 50 per cent of all public climate finance to protecting people, especially women and vulnerable groups.  COVID-19 recovery spending must be aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement.  And the decade-old promise to mobilize $100 billion annually to support mitigation and adaptation in developing countries must be met.

The climate crisis poses enormous financial risk to investment managers, asset owners, and businesses.  These risks should be measured, disclosed and mitigated.  I am asking corporate leaders to support a minimum international carbon price and align their portfolios with the Paris Agreement.  The public and private sector must work together to ensure a just and rapid transformation to a net zero global economy.

If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe.  But, as today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 is a success.

09 August 2021



UN chief calls for a global partnership to address COVID, climate change and achieve SDG’s

Speaking in a key international partnerships summit, António Guterres said that if governments embrace together the goals of phasing out coal, enhancing climate commitments, and investing in the Global Goals, there is an opportunity to rise to ‘the biggest challenge of our lives’.

The world needs a global partnership to beat COVID-19, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and address climate change, said the UN Secretary General in a video message for the opening day of the 2021 P4G summit in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

The Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) event aims to boost market-based partnerships and rally high-level political and private sector action. It brings together Heads of State, CEOs, and civil society leaders around a shared action agenda to mobilise investments for tangible impact. More

Make 2021 a year of possibility and hope.

Following an “annus horribilis” of death, disaster and despair, 2021 must be a year of transformation, Secretary-General António Guterres told the UN’s 193 Member States on Thursday.

Outlining his priorities for the months ahead, Mr. Guterres emphasized that now is the time to secure the well-being of people, economies, societies and the planet. More

UN Secretary- General Message

 On the occasion of the International Day of Education  24 January 2021 

When education is interrupted, it affects everyone – especially students, teachers and families. 

Today, on the third International Day of Education, I pay tribute to their resilience in the face of a pandemic that, at its peak, forced almost every school, institute and university to close its doors. 

Although this disruption has led to learning innovations, it has also dashed hopes of a brighter future among vulnerable populations.   

All of us pay the price.   

After all, education is the foundation for expanding opportunities, transforming economies, fighting intolerance, protecting our planet and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  

As the world continues to battle the pandemic, education – as a fundamental right and a global public good – must be protected to avert a generational catastrophe.  

Even before the pandemic, some 258 million children and adolescents were out of school, the majority of them girls.   

More than half of 10-year-olds in low- and middle-income countries were not learning to read a simple text. 

In 2021, we must seize all opportunities to turn this situation around.  

We must ensure the full replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education fund, and strengthen global education cooperation. 

We must also step up our efforts to reimagine education – training teachers, bridging the digital divide and rethinking curricula to equip learners with the skills and knowledge to flourish in our rapidly changing world. 

Let us commit to promote education for all — today and every day. 

Secretary-General’s Video Message on the Two Millionth Death From the COVID-19 Pandemic

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. The Secretary-General António Guterres noted that the absence of a global coordinated effort has worsened the pandemic’s deadly impact. More.

Secretary-General’s remarks to Petersberg Climate Dialogue

COVID-19 has put the lives of billions of people around the globe in turmoil, inflicting grave suffering and destabilizing the global economy.

It has exposed the fragility of our societies and economies to shocks, and it has laid bare deep inequalities that threaten the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The only answer is brave, visionary and collaborative leadership.

The same leadership is needed to address the looming existential threat of climate disruption.

Last year was the second-hottest year on record, part of the hottest decade in recorded history.

Delayed climate action will cost us vastly more each year in terms of lost lives and livelihoods, crippled businesses and damaged economies.

The highest cost is the cost of doing nothing.

We must urgently put in place measures to strengthen resilience and cut greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

Technology is on our side.

So, increasingly, is public opinion, especially the voice of young people.

Many cities and businesses are taking action.

But we still lack the necessary political will in many parts of the world.

That is why I continue to advocate for significantly more ambition on mitigation, adaptation and financing.

 

On mitigation, we need all countries to commit to carbon neutrality by 2050.

On adaptation, we need to support those countries least responsible for climate change, but most vulnerable to its impacts.

They need to build resilience to protect their populations.

And for that we need adequate financing, beginning with the promised mobilization of $100 billion US dollars a year for mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing countries.

As we plan our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, we have a profound opportunity to steer our world on a more sustainable and inclusive path – a path that tackles climate change, protects the environment, reverses biodiversity loss and ensures the long-term health and security of humankind.

By making the transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient growth, we can create a world that is clean, green, safe, just and more prosperous for all.

I am proposing six climate-related actions to shape the recovery.

First: As we spend trillions to recover from Covid-19, we must deliver new jobs and businesses through a clean, green and just transition.

Investments must accelerate the decarbonization of all aspects of our economy.

Second: where taxpayers’ money is needed to rescue businesses, it must be creating green jobs and sustainable and inclusive growth.

It must not be bailing out outdated, polluting, carbon-intensive industries.

Third: Fiscal firepower must shift economies from grey to green, making societies and people more resilient through a transition that is fair to all and leaves no one behind.

Fourth: Looking forward, public funds should invest in the future, by flowing to sustainable sectors and projects that help the environment and climate.

Fossil fuel subsidies must end, and carbon must have a price and polluters must pay for their pollution.

Fifth: The global financial system, when it shapes policy and infrastructure, must take risks and opportunities related to climate into account.

Investors cannot continue to ignore the price our planet pays for unsustainable growth.

Sixth: To resolve both emergencies, we must work together as an international community.

Like the coronavirus, greenhouse gases respect no boundaries.

Isolation is a trap. No country can succeed alone.

 

We already have a common framework for action – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

To that end, I am asking all countries to prepare enhanced national climate action plans, or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and strategies to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

There are some signs of important progress.

Some countries, including Chile, the current COP President, have already submitted enhanced NDCs, and a further 114 countries have announced they will do so.

121 countries have committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

I encourage the European Union to continue showing global leadership by presenting, by the end of the year, a Nationally Determined Contribution in line with its commitment to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050.

And I congratulate Chancellor Angela Merkel, for her leadership and determination.

And I am sure the incoming COP President, the UK, will present an ambitious, quality NDC in line with his nation’s strategy to get to carbon neutrality by 2050.

 

Just last week, the smallest and most vulnerable members of our international family, the small island nations, re-committed to climate ambition, even in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.

Their leadership should serve as an inspiration to all.

We cannot allow the heavy and rising debt burden of these and other developing countries to serve as a barrier to their ambition.

But the key to tackling the climate crisis is the big emitters.

Let us not forget that the G20 countries collectively account for more than 80 per cent of global emissions and over 85 per cent of the global economy.

All of them must also commit to carbon neutrality by 2050.

 

The Paris Agreement was largely made possible by the engagement of the United States and China.

Without the contribution of the big emitters, all our efforts risk to be doomed.

They say it’s darkest just before the dawn.

These are dark days, but they are not without hope.

We have a rare and short window of opportunity to rebuild our world for the better.

Let us use the pandemic recovery to provide a foundation for a safe, healthy, inclusive and more resilient world for all people.

Thank you.

New York

28 April 2020

 

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