António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, took office on 1st January 2017.
Having witnessed the suffering of the most vulnerable people on earth, in refugee camps and in war zones, the Secretary-General is determined to make human dignity the core of his work, and to serve as a peace broker, a bridge-builder and a promoter of reform and innovation.
Prior to his election as Secretary-General, Mr. Guterres served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, heading one of the world’s foremost humanitarian organizations during some of the most serious displacement crises in decades. The conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and the crises in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Yemen, led to a huge rise in UNHCR’s activities as the number of people displaced by conflict and persecution rose from 38 million in 2005 to over 60 million in 2015.
Before joining UNHCR, Mr. Guterres spent more than 20 years in government and public service. He served as prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, during which time he was heavily involved in the international effort to resolve the crisis in East Timor. Continue reading →
The Secretary-General – Appeal for Peace – 1 January 2017 – New York:
On my first day as Secretary-General of the United Nations, one question weighs heavily on my heart.
How can we help the millions of people caught up in conflict, suffering massively in wars with no end in sight?
Civilians are pounded with deadly force. Women, children and men are killed and injured, forced from their homes, dispossessed and destitute. Even hospitals and aid convoys are targeted.
No one wins these wars; everyone loses. Trillions of dollars are spent destroying societies and economies, fueling cycles of mistrust and fear that can last for generations. Whole regions are destabilized and the new threat of global terrorism affects us all. Continue reading →
Dhaka, 12 December 2016: The Together campaign was formally launched in Dhaka through a panel discussion by Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque, the Hon’ble Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, Ms Karen Abu Zayd, Former Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General for the Summit on Refugees and Migrants and Robert D. Watkins, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh. UNIC Dhaka and IOM Bangladesh organized the event at IDB Bhaban AUditorium on 12 December 2016. The other panel discussants were Mr. Bela Hovy, Chief, Migration Section, Population Division, DESA, UNHQ; Ms. Michele Klein Solomon, Director, Migration Policy and Research, IOM; , Mr. Shinji Kubo, Representative, UNHCR Bangladesh. Continue reading →
Dhaka, 11 December 2016: The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mr. Robert D. Watkins hosted a Breakfast Meeting with Under-Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Wu Hongbo who is representing the Secretary-General at the 9th Session of Global Forum for Migration and Development, a number of key UN Dignitaries and Senior Officials attending GFMD, and the UN Country Team in Bangladesh. Director General of IOM Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General of ILO Mr. Guy Ryder, Senior Adviser to Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration Mr. Francois Fouinat, Senior Adviser on Migration and Development of UNDP Ms. Irena Vojackova-Sollarano, Regional Director of IOM Dr. Nenette Motus, Regional Director of UNICEF Ms. Jean Gough, Regional Director of ILO Ms. Tomoko Nishimoto, UNSG’s Former Special adviser Ms Karen AbuZayd were among Continue reading →
Dhaka, 10 December 2016: United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Dhaka and Daffodil International University (DIU) jointly commemorated the Human Rights Day on 10 December 2016 through elaborate programme. To mark the Day, based on the theme ‘Stand up for someone’s right today’ a seminar, poetry reading session and a drama were staged at DIU Auditorium. Mr. Kazi Reazul Hoque, Chairman of National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh was the Chief Guest and Mr. Md. Sabur Khan, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Daffodil Family was present as the special guest. Professor Dr. Yousuf M Islam, Vice Chancellor, Daffodil International University presided over the programme. UNIC Officer-in-Charge M. Moniruzzaman Continue reading →
As United Nations Secretary-General over the last decade, I have repeatedly stressed the interdependence of the three pillars of the United Nations — peace, sustainable development and human rights. Together, they form the basis of resilient and cohesive societies rooted in inclusion, justice and the rule of law.
I have also underscored that human rights are at the heart of the work and identity of the United Nations. This understanding is at the core of our Human Rights up Front initiative. Continue reading →
Volunteers work tirelessly to create a better future for all. They contribute to national well-being and show global solidarity at times of crisis. We see this in action all over the world, most notably over the past year as volunteers have provided shelter and wide-ranging support to millions of refugees forced from their homes by armed conflict and persecution.
Volunteers help to eliminate poverty and reduce the impact of disasters. In Haiti, we saw the efforts of thousands during the recent floods, helping to re-build devastated communities. In Sri Lanka, volunteers were instrumental in achieving the great feat of eradicating malaria. In Mali and Colombia, UN Volunteers are among those working to achieve peace. Continue reading →
Ten years ago this month, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. One of the most widely ratified international human rights instruments, with 169Parties, the Convention has spurredsignificant progress in commitment and action for equality, inclusion and empowerment around the world, with disability being increasingly incorporated into the global human rights and development agendas.
This year, United Nations Member States have embarked on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, our blueprint for peace, prosperity, dignity and opportunity for all on a healthy planet. With its 17 interdependent Sustainable Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda is based on a pledge to leave no one behind. Achieving this requires the full inclusion and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society and development. Continue reading →
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 number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030. Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother-to-child transmission is now available to more than 75 percent of those in need. Continue reading →