UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Message on International Day of Yoga: 21 June 2016

1Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India and is now practiced in various forms around the world. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.

Yoga balances body and soul, physical health and mental well-being. It promotes harmony among people, and between ourselves and the natural world. Recognizing its universal appeal, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga. Continue reading

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Message on World Refugee Day: 20 June 2016

featured-image-indexForced displacement has reached unprecedented levels, with more than 65 million people uprooted from their homes globally. New and recurring conflicts, and ever-more disturbing forms of violence and persecution, are driving people to flee in search of safety within their own countries, or to cross international borders as asylum seekers or refugees. Others are living in long-term exile, as solutions to protracted conflicts remain elusive. At the end of 2015, there were 21.3 million refugees, 3.2 million people in the process of seeking asylum, and 40.8 million people internally displaced within their own countries.

World Refugee Day is a moment for taking stock of the devastating impact of war and persecution on the lives of those forced to flee, and honouring their courage and resilience. It is also a moment for paying tribute to the communities and States that receive and host them, often in remote border regions affected by poverty, instability and underdevelopment, and beyond the gaze of international attention. Nine out of ten refugees are today living in poor and middle income countries close to situations of conflict. Continue reading

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Message on the 100-Day Countdown to the Intrenational Day of Peace: 13 June 2016

idp-poster-071Every year on the International Day of Peace, the United Nations calls on the peoples of the world to remember their common humanity and join together to build a future free of strife. It calls on all of us to observe a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, and to honour a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day.

This year’s theme – the Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace – highlights how ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring broadly shared prosperity all contribute to global harmony.  When we all work together, we can make peace possible, starting with 24 hours of peace on September 21.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at an historic summit in September 2015. They are universal, applying to all countries. And they are integral to achieving peace. Continue reading

Zero tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife: UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon’s Message on World Environment Day

featured-image-index       5 June 2016: This year’s observance of World Environment Day shines a much-needed spotlight on the illegal trade in wildlife.  There is grave cause for alarm.  Elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory, rhinos for their horns, and pangolins for their scales.  From sea turtles to tigers to rosewood, thousands of species of wild animals and plants are being driven ever closer to extinction.  The businesses and individuals involved are motivated solely by short-term gain at the expense of long-term benefit to communities and habitats.  In many instances, they act in collusion with transnational organized crime networks and groups actively involved in destabilizing nations. Continue reading

Ban ‘deeply saddened’ by passing of Muhammad Ali, ‘world champion for equality and peace’

Muhammad Ali

4 June 2016 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said he is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Muhammad Ali, and extended his condolences to the Ali family and the many millions of fans mourning his death in every corner of the world.

“Mr. Ali was far more than a legendary boxer; he was a world champion for equality and peace. With an incomparable combination of principle, charm, wit and grace, he fought for a better world and used his platform to help lift up humanity,” Mr. Ban highlighted in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

Named a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 1998, Mr. Ali travelled the globe to support children and others caught up in conflict, and to promote reconciliation between people and nations. Well before taking on this role, he came to the United Nations in the 1970s to campaign against apartheid and racial injustice. Continue reading

International Day of UN Peacekeepers: Bangladesh paid tribute to the deceased and injured peacekeepers

President-min-1Dhaka, 29 May 2016: In commemoration of International Day of UN Peacekeepers, Bangladesh Armed Forces Division and Office of the UN Resident Coordinator jointly organized a Peacekeepers Honouring event on 29 May 2016 at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC). Abdul Hamid, Honourable President of Bangladesh spoke on the occasion as chief guest and handed over crests to the injured peacekeepers, and family members of deceased peacekeepers who lost their lives for the cause of world peace and humanity. The UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Robert Watkins delivered a speech on the occasion highlighting the importance of peace missions and contribution of Bangladeshi peacekeepers. State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, MP spoke as special guest. Chiefs of three services, Acting Foreign Secretary, chief of Police and senior military officials were present in the event. More than 1500 participants including Armed Forces, Police and civil officials, ministers, MPs, academicians, civil society members, UN officials and diplomats were present in the event. A Peace Run was also organized in the morning with the participation of armed forces, MoFA and UN officials where Hon’ble State Minister for Foreign Minister was chief guest and UN Resident Coordinator, a.i. spoke as special guest. TV talk-shows were organized by BTV and private channels and national dailies have published special supplement pages.

‘Let us work together to foster education for global citizenship,’ UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tells UN conference

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The sixty-sixth United Nations Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organizations Conference kicked off today in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighting the vital role that NGOs, academia and youth play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We need governments, the private sector and civil society,” Mr. Ban told the more than 2,000 people gathered for the opening session. “Without the participation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society groups, no initiative, however visionary, can be fully achieved,” he added.

From 30 May to 1 June, a series of roundtable discussions, workshops and youth caucuses with civil society representatives and groups will focus on education as an entry point towards realizing the SDGs. Continue reading

Celebration of International Day of Families 2016: Families, healthy lives and sustainable future

Untitled-1-minDhaka, 28 May 2016: In commemoration of the International Day of Families (15 May), UNIC Dhaka, College of Home Economics and Worldwide Family Love Movement (WWFLM) jointly organized a seminar on 28 May 2016 at College Auditorium. Ms Nasreen Begum, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs spoke on the occasion as chief guest while Ms. Shamsun Nahar, Principal of Home Economics College presided over. The special guests were Mohammad Abu Sadek, Director, Housing and Building Research Institute and M. Moniruzzaman, Officer-in-Charge, UNIC Dhaka. In his speech UNIC OIC focuses on the SDGs and their relation to families, healthy lives and sustainable future. Among others Freedom Fighter Ms Hajera Nazrul, Ms. Tajkera Khair, the Chairperson of WWFLM and Prof Nazma Begum spoke on the occasion. The UN Secretary-General’s message on the Day was read-out and SDGs Bangla post cards were distributed among the participants. More than 300 students and guests attended the event.