Your Excellency, Honourable Speaker Mr. Nailatikau, Your Excellency, Honourable Prime Minister Bainimarama, Distinguished Ministers and Members of Parliament, I am delighted to be here today. It is a great honour to address the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji.
I was in parliament for 26 years of my life. Six and a half of them as Prime Minister.
Being in the Parliament of Fiji I feel twice at home. At home because I’m in Fiji and at home because I’m in the Parliament.
Bula Vinaka, good afternoon, and thank you for your warm welcome and hospitality.
Fiji is a country of extraordinary beauty, with a unique connection to the ocean and the sky.
Your strong traditions of community and social responsibility, and your symbiotic relationship with your surroundings, make you natural global leaders on climate and the environment.
From your chairmanship of COP23, the United Nations climate talks in Bonn, to your co-hosting of the UN’s first-ever conference on the Ocean, to the work of my Special Envoy, Peter Thomson, Fijians have been at the forefront of international action and advocacy on climate and the sea.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in New Zealand on Sunday (12 May) to begin his trip to the Pacific region. From 12 May to 18 May, Guterres is scheduled to visit New Zealand, Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu to convey a very strong message from the Pacific to the rest of the world.
Speaking today to media in the New Zealand capital Auckland, alongside New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his solidarity with the victims and families of the March Christchurch mosque attacks, which killed 51 people, and praised Ardern’s leadership in the aftermath of the killings.
Guterres told reporters the reason for the visit was to “pay tribute to their courage, to their resilience, but also to pay tribute to the extraordinary unity and to the message of solidarity that was given by the people and the government of New Zealand.”
Thirty years after the first World AIDS Day, the response to HIV stands at a crossroads. Which way we turn may define the course of the epidemic—whether we will end AIDS by 2030, or whether future generations will carry on bearing the burden of this devastating disease.
More than 77 million people have become infected with HIV, and more than 35 million have died of an AIDS-related illness. Huge progress has been made in diagnosis and treatment, and prevention efforts have avoided millions of new contaminations.
Yet the pace of progress is not matching global ambition. New HIV infections are not falling rapidly enough. Some regions are lagging behind, and financial resources are insufficient. Stigma and discrimination are still holding people back, especially key populations— including gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgenders, people who inject drugs, prisoners and migrants—and young women and adolescent girls. Moreover, one in four people living with HIV do not know that they have the virus, impeding them from making informed decisions on prevention, treatment and other care and support services.
There is still time — to scale-up testing for HIV; to enable more people to access treatment; to increase resources needed to prevent new infections; and to end the stigma. At this critical juncture, we need to take the right turn now.
The Secretary-General is outraged by the series of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan today.
The attacks in Kabul and Kandahar caused numerous casualties among civilians,
emergency responders, and school children. The deliberate targeting of journalists
in the attack highlights once again the risks media professionals face in carrying out
their essential work. Those responsible for such crimes must be swiftly brought to
The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims
and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.
Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 30 April 2018
Secretary-General’s Message for 2016
Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride but we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment. Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother-to-child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS-related causes each year. And people living with HIV are living longer lives.
The Secretary-General is appalled by the chilling military escalation in the city of Aleppo, which is facing the most sustained and intense bombardment since the start of the Syrian conflict.
Since the announcement two days ago by the Syrian Army of an offensive to capture eastern Aleppo, there have been repeated reports of airstrikes involving the use of incendiary weapons and advanced munitions such as bunker buster bombs. The Secretary-General underlines that the apparent systematic use of these types of indiscriminate weapons in densely populated areas may amount to war crimes.
The Secretary-General considers this a dark day for the global commitment to protect civilians. The international community has to unite to send a clear message that it will not tolerate the use of indiscriminate and ever more deadly and powerful weapons against civilians.