Category Archives: UN SG’s Messages

UN SG’s Messages

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

World Press Freedom Day 3 May 2016

wpfd2016World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. It is an opportunity to: celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty. In 2016, World Press Freedom Day coincides with three important milestones: The 250th anniversary of the world’s first freedom of information law, covering both modern-day Sweden and Finland; The 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration of press freedom principles; The year 2016 is also the first year of the 15 year life-cycle of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UN Secretary-General’s Message on the Day

Group picTo mark the Day UNESCO Dhaka Office organized a seminar  titled, ‘The State of Press Freedom in Bangladesh: Challenges and Way Forward’ at CIRDAP auditorium on 3 May 2016. UNESCO Representative Ms Beatrice Kaldun delivered the introductory speech while Chief Information Commissioner Prof Dr Md Golam Rahman Spoke as chief guest. The key-note paper was presented by Prof Dr Abu J M Shafiul Alam Bhaiyan. Among others Advocate Sultana Kamal and Toufique Imrose Khalidi spoke on the occasion. UNIC Officer-in-Charge was present in the seminar. Mass-line Media Centre (MMC) and ICS co-organized the event.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Message on International Mother Earth Day, 22 April 2016

featured-image-sgmessage       International Mother Earth Day is an opportunity to highlight the interdependence between people and the astonishing variety of species with which we share this planet. This year’s observance brings hope of a better future for all.

On this day, representatives of more than 170 countries are gathering at UN Headquarters in New York to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. This landmark pact, in conjunction with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, holds the power to transform our world.  The momentum achieved by so many signatures on one day sends a clear signal of solidarity and resolve.  Now we must unleash the full force of human ingenuity and ensure low-emission growth and improved climate resilience. Continue reading

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Message on World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April 2016

Participants at the UN General Assembly special event on the occasion of World Autism Awareness Day: ‘Autism and the 2030 Agenda: Inclusion and Neurodiversity.’ UN Photo/Rick BajornasThe international community is now embarking on the challenge of realizing the ambitious and universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  The equal participation and active involvement of persons with autism will be essential for achieving the inclusive societies envisioned by the Sustainable Development Goals.

Autism is a lifelong condition that affects millions of people worldwide.  It is not well-understood in many countries, and too many societies shun people with autism.

This is a violation of human rights and a waste of human potential. I have seen the dynamism and commitment of persons with autism. Earlier this year, I was honoured to engage in a dialogue with one such young man at United Nations Headquarters in New York. I was especially impressed by his innovative approach to the issue of how we can reach the SDGs. Continue reading

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Op-ed/Message for International Women’s Day: “From the Glass Ceiling to a Carpet of Shards”, 8 March 2016

featured-image-sgmessage   As a boy growing up in post-war Korea, I remember asking about a tradition I observed: women going into labour would leave their shoes at the threshold and then look back in fear. “They are wondering if they will ever step into those shoes again,” my mother explained.

More than a half-century later, the memory continues to haunt me. In poor parts of the world today, women still risk death in the process of giving life. Maternal mortality is one of many preventable perils. All too often, female babies are subjected to genital mutilation. Girls are attacked on their way to school. Women’s bodies are used as battlefields in wars. Widows are shunned and impoverished.

We can only address these problems by empowering women as agents of change. Continue reading

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Message on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2015

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Amid large-scale atrocities and widespread abuses across the world, Human Rights Day should rally more concerted global action to promote the timeless principles that we have collectively pledged to uphold.

In a year that marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, we can draw inspiration from the history of the modern human rights movement, which emerged from the Second World War.

At that time, President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States identified four basic freedoms as the birthright of all people: freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.  His wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, joined forces at the United Nations with human rights champions from around the world to enshrine these freedoms in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Continue reading