Category Archives: UN SG’s Messages

UN SG’s Messages

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Message on Nelson Mandela International Day 18 July 2019

On this day, we pay tribute to an extraordinary global advocate for dignity and equality, and one of the most iconic and inspirational leaders of our time.  Nelson Mandela exemplified courage, compassion and commitment to freedom, peace and social justice.  He lived by these principles and was prepared to sacrifice his liberty and even his life for them.

Nelson Mandela’s calls for social cohesion and an end to racism are particularly relevant today, with hate speech casting a growing shadow around the world.  As we work collectively for peace, stability, sustainable development and human rights for all, we would be well served to recall the example set by Nelson Mandela.

Our best tribute is found in actions.  Nelson Mandela’s message to the world is clear.  Every one of us can step up and act for enduring change.  We all have the duty to do so.  On this day of reflection on Nelson Mandela’s life and work, let us embrace his legacy and aspire to emulate his example.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Message on World Press Freedom Day, 3 May 2019

A free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights.

No democracy is complete without access to transparent and reliable information. It is the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions, holding leaders accountable and speaking truth to power.

This is especially true during election seasons — the focus of this year’s World Press Freedom Day.

Facts, not falsehoods, should guide people as they choose their representatives.

Yet while technology has transformed the ways in which we receive and share information, sometimes it is used to mislead public opinion or to fuel violence and hatred. Continue reading

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Message on the 25th Anniversary of the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda, 7 April 2019

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, one of the darkest chapters in recent human history. More than 800,000 people – overwhelmingly Tutsi, but also moderate Hutu and others who opposed the genocide – were systematically killed in less than three months. On this Day, we honour those who were murdered and reflect on the suffering and resilience of those who survived.

As we renew our resolve to prevent such atrocities from ever happening again, we are seeing dangerous trends of rising xenophobia, racism and intolerance in many parts of the world. Particularly troubling is the proliferation of hate speech and incitement to violence. They are an affront to our values, and threaten human rights, social stability and peace. Wherever they occur, hate speech and incitement to violence should be identified, confronted and stopped to prevent them leading, as they have in the past, to hate crimes and genocide. Continue reading

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Message on World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April 2019

On World Autism Awareness Day, we speak out against discrimination, celebrate the diversity of our global community and strengthen our commitment to the full inclusion and participation of people with autism. Supporting them to achieve their full potential is a vital part of our efforts to uphold the core promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: to leave no one behind.

This year’s observance underscores the importance of affordable assistive technologies to support people with autism to live independent lives and, indeed, to exercise their basic human rights. Around the world, there are still major barriers to accessing such technologies, including high costs, unavailability and a lack of awareness of their potential.

Last year, I launched a Strategy on New Technologies to ensure that new and emerging technologies are aligned with the values enshrined in the UN Charter, international law and human rights conventions, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. On World Autism Awareness Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to these values – which include equality, equity and inclusion – and to promoting the full participation of all people with autism, by ensuring that they have the necessary tools to exercise their rights and fundamental freedoms.

Message of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2019

Gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to global progress on peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. We can only re-establish trust in institutions, rebuild global solidarity and reap the benefits of diverse perspectives by challenging historic injustices and promoting the rights and dignity of all.

In recent decades, we have seen remarkable progress on women’s rights and leadership in some areas. But these gains are far from complete or consistent – and they have already sparked a troubling backlash from an entrenched patriarchy.

Gender equality is fundamentally a question of power. We live in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture. Only when we see women’s rights as our common objective, a route to change that benefits everyone, will we begin to shift the balance.

Increasing the number of women decision-makers is fundamental. At the United Nations, I have made this a personal and urgent priority. We now have gender parity among those who lead our teams around the world, and the highest-ever numbers of women in senior management. We will continue to build on this progress. Continue reading

Message of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres on World Radio Day, 13 February 2019

Radio is a powerful tool.

Even in today’s world of digital communications, radio reaches more people than any other media platform.

It conveys vital information and raises awareness on important issues.

And it is a personal, interactive platform where people can air their views, concerns, and grievances. Radio can create a community.

For the United Nations, especially our peacekeeping operations, radio is a vital way of informing, reuniting and empowering people affected by war.

On this World Radio Day, let us recognize the power of radio to promote dialogue, tolerance and peace.

Watch Video Message

 

 

MESSAGE OF UN SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTONIO GUTERRES ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF EDUCATION – 24 JANUARY 2019

Today we celebrate the first International Day of Education.

Education transforms lives. As United Nations Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai once said: “one child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world”. Nelson Mandela rightly called education “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Long before I served at the United Nations or held public office in my own country, I was a teacher. In the slums of Lisbon, I saw that education is an engine for poverty eradication and a force for peace.

Today, education is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals.

We need education to reduce inequalities and improve health.

We need education to achieve gender equality and eliminate child marriage.

We need education to protect our planet’s resources. Continue reading

UN Serceretary-General’s Message on Human Rights Day 10 December 2018

For 70 years, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been a global beacon – shining a light for dignity, equality and well-being … and bringing hope to dark places.

The rights proclaimed in the Declaration apply to everyone — no matter our race, belief, location or other distinction of any kind.

Human rights are universal and eternal.

They are also indivisible. One cannot pick and choose among civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

Today we also honour the human rights defenders risking their lives to protect people in the face of rising hatred, racism, intolerance and repression.

Indeed, human rights are under siege around the world.

Universal values are being eroded. The rule of law is being undermined.

Now more than ever, our shared duty is clear:

Let us stand up for human rights — for everyone, everywhere.

MESSAGE OF SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTONIO GUTERRES FOR UN DAY, 24 OCTOBER 2018

It gives me great pleasure to wish the people and Government of Bangladesh, and all United Nations staff working hand-in-hand with their Bangladeshi counterparts, a very happy United Nations Day.

United Nations Day marks the birthday of our founding Charter – the landmark document that embodies the hopes, dreams and aspirations of “we the peoples”.

Every day, the women and men of the United Nations work to give practical meaning to that Charter.

Despite the odds and the obstacles, we never give up.

Extreme poverty is being reduced but we see inequality growing.

Yet we don’t give up because we know by reducing inequality we increase hope and opportunity and peace around the world.

Climate change is moving faster than we are, but we don’t give up because we know that climate action is the only path.

Human rights are being violated in so many places. But we don’t give up because we know respect for human rights and human dignity is a basic condition for peace.

Conflicts are multiplying – people are suffering. But we don’t give up because we know every man, woman and child deserves a life of peace.

Bangladesh continues to make important contributions to our work, notably as a leading contributor of troops to United Nations peacekeeping and in opening the country’s borders to provide shelter and life-saving assistance to more than one million Rohingya refugees at their time of dire need.

On United Nations Day, let us reaffirm our commitment.
To repair broken trust.
To heal our planet.
To leave no one behind.
To uphold dignity for one and all, as united nations.