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 →
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.
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 →
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!