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.
Excellencies, Mr. Zoltan Matyash, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
It is an honour to be here with you today at the opening of this exhibit. The United Nations is fortunate to host such a deeply moving and important collection of photographs.
Seventy-five years ago, when soldiers of the Soviet army entered Auschwitz, they were stunned into silence by what they saw. The Nazis had attempted to hide some of the evidence of mass murder. But the millions of clothing items and tons of hair told their own appalling story.
Liberation ended the Holocaust. But it was just the beginning of our efforts to make sure such crimes never happen again.
I will never forget my visit to Yad Vashem two years ago. I was shocked once again by the ability of antisemitism to reinvent itself and re-emerge time and again, over millennia. Even after the Holocaust, when its catastrophic results could not have been clearer, antisemitism continues. Sometimes it takes new forms, and is spread by new techniques, but it is the same old hatred. We can never lower our guard.
The past few years have seen a frightening upsurge in antisemitic attacks both in Europe and the United States, part of a troubling increase in xenophobia, homophobia, discrimination and hatred of all kinds. Even Nazism itself is threatening to reemerge —sometimes openly, sometimes in disguise.
As the former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Jonathan Sacks, has said, “The hate that begins with Jews never ends there.”
Remembrance and education are an essential part of our prevention efforts, because ignorance creates fertile ground for false narratives and lies. “Never again” means telling the story again and again.
It is a great honour to have Mr. Zoltan Matyash here with us today. We are all deeply grateful to him and to all Holocaust survivors, who inspire us with their strength and their example.
As survivors grow older, it is essential that we keep their memories alive and carry their testimony forward in new ways for new generations.
That is why the United Nations Holocaust Outreach Programme and UNESCO provide written testimony, photographs, videos and other resources for schools and institutions around the world.
And that is why exhibitions like this are so important. These portraits of Holocaust survivors speak to us of the dignity, humanity and interconnectedness of each unique member of our human family.
Their heartbreaking stories of survival and courage inspire us to do more, in whatever way we can, to combat persecution, hatred and discrimination, wherever they are found.
We will gather at the General Assembly in a few days to pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust and to renew the commitment of the international community to prevent any repetition of such crimes against humanity.
Understanding our history connects us to the essential human values of truth, respect, justice and compassion.
As these values come under attack from all sides, we must reaffirm them more strongly than ever.
We will stand firm every day and everywhere against antisemitism, bigotry and hatred of all kinds.
The world failed all those who died, and those who continue to suffer as a result of the Holocaust.
We cannot fail them again by allowing their stories to be forgotten.
New York, 21 January 2020
The New Year has begun with our world in turmoil.
We are living in dangerous times.
Geopolitical tensions are at their highest level this century.
And this turbulence is escalating.
Even nuclear non-proliferation can no longer be taken for granted.
This cauldron of tensions is leading more and more countries to take unpredicted decisions with unpredictable consequences and a profound risk of miscalculation.
At the same time, we see trade and technological conflicts that fracture world markets, undermine growth and widen inequalities.
And all the while, our planet is on fire. The climate crisis rages on.
In many parts of the world, we see many people frustrated and angry. We see increased social unrest and growing extremism, nationalism and radicalization, with a dangerous advance of terrorism, notably in Africa.
This situation cannot go on.
I have been following the recent rise in global tensions with great concern.
I am in constant contact with leading officials around the world.
My message is simple and clear:
Exercise maximum restraint.
Renew international cooperation.
Let us not forget the terrible human suffering caused by war.
As always, ordinary people pay the highest price. It is our common duty to avoid it.
New York, 6 January 2019
The UN on Wednesday launched the biggest global conversation on the world’s future: the UN75 dialogues.
Views and ideas gathered throughout the year will be shared at a high-level event in September to mark the Organization’s 75th anniversary. More
From here at the United Nations, I join you in welcoming the New Year. We enter 2020 with uncertainty and insecurity all around.
Persistent inequality and rising hatred.
A warring world and a warming planet.
Climate change is not only a long-term problem but a clear and present danger.
We cannot afford to be the generation that fiddled while the planet burned.
But there is also hope.
This year, my New Year’s message is to the greatest source of that hope: the world’s young people.
MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS DAY
18 December 2019
Migrants are integral members of society, contributing to mutual understanding and sustainable development in communities of both origin and destination.
Safe, orderly and regular migration is in the interest of all. And national priorities on migration are best achieved through international cooperation.
All migrants are entitled to equal protection of all their human rights.
These principles are enshrined in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
Yet, we often hear narratives around migrants that are harmful and false.
And we often witness migrants facing unspeakable hardship as a result of policies shaped more by fear than by fact.
On this International Day, I urge leaders and people everywhere to bring the Global Compact to life, so that migration works for all.
The UN Secretary-General has outlined the “increased ambition and commitment” that the world needs from governments during the coming days of the COP25 UN climate change conference which opens in Madrid on Monday, calling for “accountability, responsibility and leadership” to end the global climate crisis. More: