Tag Archives: #United Nations Secretary-General

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
9 August 2016

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by world leaders last year, is predicated on the principle of leaving no one behind in the journey to a world of peace and dignity, opportunity and prosperity. Among those most vulnerable to being left behind are indigenous peoples.

Indigenous peoples face a wide range of challenges including systematic discrimination, denial of their land and territorial rights and inadequate access to essential services. Indigenous peoples regularly face stigmatization of their cultural identity and lack of respect and recognition for their heritage and values, including in textbooks and other educational materials. Their marginalization is often compounded by language barriers. Instruction is mainly in the national language, with little or no instruction in, or recognition of, indigenous languages.

This has grave consequences. Around the globe, indigenous youth are graduating from high school at rates well below the national average. In some countries, less than 40 per cent of indigenous children attend school full-time. In many others, few indigenous children complete a full high school education. This is unacceptable. We will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals if we fail to address the educational needs of indigenous peoples.

In recent decades, the world has progressed considerably in advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples. The United Nations now has three specific mechanisms to advance their cause: the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We also have the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Adopted by the General Assembly on 13 September 2007, the Declaration is the definitive benchmark for the recognition, promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples.

In September 2014, the first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples adopted an action oriented outcome document to achieve the ends of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As a direct result we now have a UN System Wide Action Plan to promote awareness and action to support the implementation of the UN Declaration, particularly at the country level.

On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, I call on Governments everywhere to draw on the guidance of this international framework to improve access to education for indigenous people and to reflect their experiences and culture in places of learning. Let us commit to ensuring indigenous peoples are not left behind as we pursue the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Secretary-General Calls for the Observance of the Olympic Truce For The 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 

New York, 29 July 2016

I call for a worldwide cessation of hostilities in observance of the Olympic Truce during the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

While such an ambitious vision may seem impossible to realize, the Olympic spirit calls on us to rise to the challenge.

The Games are all about shattering records of human ability. They motivate individuals and countries around the world to reach beyond the limits of what was previously thought possible.

With that same resolve, I call for a push to match efforts to win medals on the playing fields with work to silence guns on the battlefields.

A respite in fighting would manifest the values that the Games seek to promote: respect, friendship, solidarity and equality.

This year’s Games are already making history as the first to be held in South America. And the International Olympic Committee has taken the unprecedented step of including a refugee team, giving talented athletes who have been forced to flee their homes the chance to chase gold.

This initiative will showcase the strengths of refugees while reminding the world that we must do more to tackle the root causes of their plight. There is no greater source of exodus than conflict, and there could be no better demonstration of solidarity than to observe the Olympic Truce.

The late Olympic Gold Medallist and United Nations Messenger of Peace Muhammad Ali embodied the power of sports to move the global public. He once said, “I use boxing because it’s a platform to get to people.” Muhammad Ali showed how champion athletes can champion justice.

Inspired by his example, let us press all warring parties to lay down their weapons from the seventh day before the start of the XXXI Olympic Summer Games until the seventh day following the end of the XV Paralympic Summer Games.

May the serenity of the Olympic Flame silence the sound of gunfire.

*****

Press Release: UN Secretary-General Invites All Member States To Event on 21 September Aimed At Accelerating Paris Agreement Entry Into Force

entry-into-force

Early entry into force seen as critical for boosting climate action

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited leaders from all countries to attend a special event on 21 September to deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement on climate change. The event will also provide an opportunity to other countries to publicly commit to joining or ratifying the agreement before the end of 2016.

The agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the Secretary-General.

It is expected that the September event will help efforts to secure early entry into force of the agreement.

In an extraordinary show of support for the Paris climate agreement, 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement at a ceremony in New York on 22 April, far exceeding the historical record for first-day signatures to an international agreement. Signing is the first step toward joining the Agreement, and must be followed by the deposit of the instrument of ratification or acceptance. So far, 19 countries have ratified the Agreement. Many others, including the United States and China, have publicly committed to joining the Paris Agreement this year.