Category Archives: Press Statements

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein ahead of the first-ever International Albinism Awareness Day, 13 June 2015

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra'ad Photo : UNHCR

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra’ad Photo : UNHCR

Geneva, 11 June 2015 – The World’s first-ever day for Albinism Awareness, is an opportunity to celebrate the talents and achievements of people with albinism, and to join the struggle against the challenges they face.

In every society, babies are born with albinism, due to a recessive gene that is carried by both parents.  But across the world, these children are likely to face bullying, prejudice and even violence because of stereotypes based on the colour of their skin. They frequently cannot access adequate healthcare, although albinism may impair their vision and increase their risk of skin cancers.  Failure to accommodate this visual impairment, as well as mockery and abuse, may force them to drop out of school; compounded by widespread social rejection, this can result in unemployment, isolation and life-long poverty. Continue reading

Statement by the President of the Security Council

New York – After 19 months of a rebellion which has exacerbated the humanitarian strife in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Security Council welcomes the announcement by the M23 to put an end to its rebellion, the government of DRC’s acceptance of this announcement and the cessation of hostilities between the DRC and the M23. The Security Council condemns the violence caused by this rebellion, which has resulted in a significant loss of civilian life, as well as of MONUSCO peacekeepers’ lives, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians.  Continue reading

Statement from the Great Lakes envoys on M23

UN – Mary Robinson, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to the Great Lakes Region, Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Head of MONUSCO, Boubacar Diarra, AU Special Representative for the Great Lakes, Russell Feingold, U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes and the DRC, and Koen Vervaeke, EU Senior Coordinator to the Great Lakes Region, are concerned about the renewed outbreak of violence between the M23 and the Government of the DRC.They take note of the announcement of the M23 of cessation of hostilities as a first and necessary step to peace. Continue reading

“In a world of global migration, who is taking care of the rights of migrants?” – UN expert

NEW YORK / GENEVA (25 October) – “There is no migration organization within the United Nations, and no coherent institutional framework governing migration. States retreat from binding UN-based frameworks, with preference for informal processes governing migration,” the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, warned on Thursday. Continue reading

Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa, Mary Robinson, arrives in DR Congo [scroll down for French version – 2 September]

Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Mary Robinson. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti

Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Mary Robinson. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti

Arriving in DRC, UN Great Lakes Envoy urges end to hostilities, focus on political process ahead of regional tours with AU,US and EU envoys

Kinshasa, 2 September 2013 – The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Great Lakes Region, Mary Robinson, has arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo ahead of the start of a joint regional mission this week of UN, African Union, US and European envoys to bolster diplomatic efforts for peace in the eastern DRC and the region. Continue reading

UN celebrates 50 years of invaluable contributions by women to human space flight

Press briefing by Valentina Tereshkova on the occasion of the celebration of 50 years of women in space. Photo: UNIS Vienna

Press briefing by Valentina Tereshkova on the occasion of the celebration of 50 years of women in space. Photo: UNIS Vienna

New York – The United Nations today commemorated the first space flight by a woman over 50 years ago and the contributions by women to that endeavour since then, hailing these “trailblazers” as powerful role models for young women and men worldwide.

It was on 16 June 1963 that cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to fly into outer space aboard the Vostok-6 spacecraft, making history in a 70-hour flight during which she orbited the Earth 48 times. Continue reading

Nearly 93,000 people killed in ‘vicious’ Syria conflict – UN human rights chief

06-13-2013bombedsyriaSyria – Warning the real figure is likely to be much higher, the United Nations human rights chief today announced that the death toll in Syria is nearly 93,000, with more than 5,000 people killed a month as the situation in the country has “deteriorated drastically” over the past year.

“The constant flow of killings continues at shockingly high levels – with more than 5,000 killings documented every month since last July, including a total of just under 27,000 new killings since 1 December,” Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human rights, said in a news release. Continue reading

Ban calls on Member States to press ahead with efforts to realize AIDS-free world

Caption: UNAIDS

Caption: UNAIDS

New York – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on Member States to press ahead with efforts to realize the vision of a world free of AIDS, as the United Nations General Assembly met to consider progress in the global struggle against the epidemic.

Mr. Ban recalled that the Assembly’s 2011 Political Declaration set out a new framework of shared responsibility and global solidarity. Since then, the world has moved closer to the goal of no new HIV infections, no discrimination and no AIDS-related deaths. Continue reading