Category Archives: UN SG’s Messages

UN SG’s Messages

Message of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for the International Day of Peace

This year we mark International Day of Peace as we prepare to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This foundational document is a reminder that peace takes root when people are free from hunger, poverty and oppression and can thrive and prosper.

With the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as our guide, we must ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

I encourage you to speak up. For gender equality. For inclusive societies. For climate action.

Do your part at school, at work, at home. Every step counts.

Let us act together to promote and defend human rights for all, in the name of lasting peace for all.

Message of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Int’l Day of Democracy – 15 September 2018 I Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World

This year’s International Day of Democracy is an opportunity to look for ways to invigorate democracy and seek answers to the systemic challenges it faces. This includes tackling economic and political inequalities, making democracies more inclusive by bringing the young and marginalized into the political system, and making democracies more innovative and responsive to emerging challenges such as migration and climate change.

With this year’s 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Day of Democracy is also an opportunity to highlight the values of freedom and respect for human rights as essential elements of democracy. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government” (article 21.3), has inspired constitution-making around the world and contributed to global acceptance of democratic values and principles. Democracy, in turn, provides the natural environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development addresses democracy in Sustainable Development Goal 16 recognizing the indivisible links between peaceful societies and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Written Message on International Youth Day, 12 August 2018

The hopes of the world rest on young people.

Peace, economic dynamism, social justice, tolerance – all this and more, today and tomorrow, depends on tapping into the power of youth.

Yet more than 400 million young women and men live amidst armed conflict or organized violence.

Millions face deprivation, harassment, bullying and other infringements of their rights.

Young women and girls are particularly vulnerable.

The world’s young people need safe spaces — public, civic, physical and digital spaces where they can freely express their views and pursue their dreams.

We must invest so that young people have access to education, training and decent jobs to achieve their full potential.

The United Nations is strongly committed to listening to the voices of young people – and opening pathways for meaningful participation in decisions that affect them.

This September, we will launch a new strategy to step up our work with and for young people.

In making the world safe for young people, we make the world better for all.

I wish all a happy International Youth Day!

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Message for World Refugees Day – 20 June 2018

What would you do if you were forced to leave your home?

Today, more than 68 million people around the world are refugees or internally displaced as a result of conflict or persecution.

That is equivalent to the population of the world’s 20th largest country.

Last year, someone was displaced every two seconds.

Mostly, in poorer countries.

On World Refugee Day, we must all think about what more we can we do to help.

The answer begins with unity and solidarity.  Continue reading

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: Press Stakeout on US-DPR Korea Summit, 11 June 2018., New York, 11 June 2018 — Full text and Video

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your presence.

I usually come before you to express deep concerns about unfolding developments and trends around the world.

Today, a bit of good news.

I want to address a promising development for global peace and security.

The world is closely watching what will take place in Singapore in a few hours’ time.

I commend the leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States for pursuing a diplomatic solution.

I also thank all those who contributed to creating the conditions for this key moment.

The two leaders are seeking to break out of the dangerous cycle that created so much concern last year.

Peace and verifiable denuclearization must remain the clear and shared goal.

As I wrote to both leaders last month, the road ahead will require cooperation, compromise and a common cause. Continue reading

24th commemoration of the Rwanda genocide: UN Secretary-General’s Message 2018

Twenty-four years ago, more than 800,000 people were systematically killed in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The victims were overwhelmingly Tutsi, but also included moderate Hutu, Twa and others. Today we remember all those who were murdered and reflect on the suffering of the survivors, who have shown that reconciliation is possible, even after a tragedy of such monumental proportions.

Rwanda has learned from its tragedy; so must the international community. States have a fundamental responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. It is imperative that we unite to prevent such atrocities from occurring, and that the international community sends a strong message to perpetrators that they will be held accountable.

I am deeply concerned about the rise of racism, hate speech and xenophobia around the world. These base manifestations of human cruelty provide the breeding ground for far more evil acts. People are still being killed, displaced and their human rights abused in many parts of the world because of their faith or ethnicity. I am particularly troubled by the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Members of this religious and ethnic minority have been systematically killed, tortured, raped, burnt alive and humiliated, and more than 671,000 have fled in search of safety in neighbouring Bangladesh. Continue reading

Empowering Women and Girls with Autism: World Autism Day observed

Dhaka, 5 April 2018: With the theme of “Empowering Women and Girls with Autism” a seminar and cultural programme on World Autism Awareness Day was organized at BPF auditorium. In his speech, UNIC NIO focused on the role and activities of United Nations in relation to autism referring UN Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons. BPF Executive Director Dr. Shamim Ferdous urged to all stakeholders to come forward in empowering women and girls in autism. UN Secretary-General’s Message (Bangla) on the Day was readout and  distributed among all the participants. A cultural programme was performed by both autistic and non-autistic children. UN promotional materials were distributed among the children. The event was jointly organized by Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation (BPF), Shishu Bikash Network (SBN) and UN Information Centre on 5 April 2018.

UN Secretary-General’s Message on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2018

Women in Brazil march for women's rights. Photo: UN Women/Bruno Spada

We are at a pivotal moment for women’s rights. The historical and structural inequalities that have allowed oppression and discrimination to flourish are being exposed like never before. From Latin America to Europe to Asia, on social media, on film sets, on the factory floor and in the streets, women are calling for lasting change and zero tolerance for sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination of all kinds.

Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world. Continue reading