New York, 13 June 2015 – People born with albinism can live normal, healthy and productive lives given the right opportunities – but tragically, far too many suffer isolation, mutilation and even death because of persistent discrimination and ignorance surrounding their condition. International Albinism Awareness Day offers an opportunity to dispel the myths that surround these individuals and enable them to exercise their inalienable human rights. Continue reading
Johannesburg, 13 June 2015 – I thank you for the opportunity to address this distinguished body. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked me to convey to you his warm greetings and his deep gratitude for the leadership and partnership of the African Union in the pursuit of peace and security in Africa. Continue reading →
New York, 8 June 2015 – Oceans are an essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem, and healthy oceans are critical to sustaining a healthy planet. Two out of every five people live relatively close to a shore, and three out of seven depend on marine and coastal resources to survive. Our oceans regulate the climate and process nutrients through natural cycles while providing a wide range of services, including natural resources, food and jobs that benefit billions of people.
Given how critical oceans are to the health of our planet and the prosperity of people, they are an essential element in our emerging vision for sustainable development, including the new set of sustainable development goals now being prepared to guide the global fight against poverty for the next 15 years. Continue reading →
New York, 5 June 2015 – The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care”.
Humanity continues to consume far more natural resources than the planet can sustainably provide. Many of the Earth’s ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points. It is time for us to change. Continue reading →
New York, 31 May 2015 – On this World No Tobacco Day, I call for boosting the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to eradicate the illicit trade in cheaper tobacco products which tend to lure younger and poorer groups into addiction while depleting the ability of States to charge taxes that could support health services. By striking at the criminal gangs and tobacco companies that engage in this reprehensible trade, we will advance public health and sustainable development.
New York, 29 May 2015 – This year’s International Day of UN Peacekeepers falls during the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, offering a chance to honour the invaluable contribution of the Blue Helmets to the proud history of the Organization. United Nations peacekeeping has given life to the UN Charter’s aim “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security”. Through years of struggle and sacrifice, the iconic Blue Helmet has earned its place as a symbol of hope to millions of people living in war-ravaged lands. Continue reading →
New York, 23 May 2015 – Obstetric fistula is a devastating yet completely preventable and, in many cases, treatable injury of childbirth. It leaves women, and many girls, incontinent and often stigmatized, abused and isolated from families and communities. At least 2 million women and girls live with the condition, and 50,000 to 100,000 new cases occur every year.
The fact that fistula persists primarily among the poorest and most marginalized women and girls in the world is an egregious outcome of social, economic and gender inequalities, the denial of human rights and inadequate access to quality reproductive health services, including maternal and newborn care. We can and must put an end to this needless suffering. Continue reading →
New York, 22 May 2015 – The variety of life on Earth is essential for the welfare of current and future generations. The conservation, restoration and sustainable use of biological diversity can help solve a range of societal challenges.
Protecting ecosystems and ensuring access to ecosystem services by poor and vulnerable groups are essential to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. Reducing deforestation and land degradation and enhancing carbon stocks in forests, drylands, rangelands and croplands generate significant social and economic benefits and are cost-effective ways to mitigate climate change. Continue reading →
Joint message from Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day. Continue reading →
New York, 22 April 2015 – The Secretary- General condemns the wave of xenophobic violence in South Africa that has resulted in the deaths of at least seven people in the past few weeks. He expresses his condolences to the families of the victims.
The Secretary-General notes the actions and statements of the President of South Africa and the Government to address the violence. He welcomes the public expressions of the many South Africans who have been calling for peaceful coexistence and harmony with foreign nationals. He urges that all efforts are made to avert future attacks, including any incitement leading thereto, and encourages peaceful solutions.