New York, 22 April 2015 – The word ‘mother’ holds great power. It evokes memories of the women who gave us life, nurtured us as infants and helped mould us into who we are today. The Earth is the ultimate mother – an astounding planet that has, since time immemorial, supported life in myriad forms. As humans, we outgrow the need for constant maternal care. But we can never outgrow our reliance on Mother Earth. As long as we live, we need air, water, fertile soil and the countless other gifts this planet bestows. Continue reading
New York, 25 March 2015 – To mark this International Day, I will unveil a permanent and fitting Memorial to honour the victims of slavery and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade at the United Nations in New York.
The “Ark of the Return” Memorial will bring home to visitors from around the world, the terrible legacy of the slave trade. It will enable them to reflect on a core goal of the United Nations: the promotion and preservation of the dignity, freedom and equality of all human beings Continue reading →
New York, 24 March 2015 – Earlier this year, I had the honour of paying my respects at the gravesite of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero, who was murdered in El Salvador on this day in 1980. Monsignor Romero was an icon for human rights and social justice.
Every year, the United Nations marks the anniversary of his death by honouring the memory of the victims of gross human rights violations and promoting the importance of the right to truth and justice. Continue reading →
New York, 24 March 2015 – With some 37 million lives saved between 2000 and 2013 through the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis, it is clear that we are within sight of one of the great global health victories. We have the opportunity not just to reverse the spread of TB but, by 2035, to end this epidemic that continues to bring suffering to so many families worldwide.
But victory is not guaranteed. An estimated 9 million people fell ill with TB in 2013, and 1.5 million died. So, on this World Tuberculosis Day I urge governments, communities affected by TB and health workers around the world to intensify their efforts in line with the ambitious strategy established by the World Health Assembly in 2014 to end the global epidemic within two decades. Continue reading →
New York, 22 March 2015 – This year, as the UN prepares to adopt a new post-2015 sustainable development agenda in September, World Water Day highlights the essential and interconnected role of water. We rely on water for public health and equitable progress, it is essential for food and energy security, and it underpins the functioning of industries.
The onset of climate change, growing demand on finite water resources from agriculture, industry and cities, and increasing pollution in many areas are hastening a water crisis that can only be addressed by cross-sectoral, holistic planning and policies – internationally, regionally and globally. Continue reading →
New York, 21 March 2015 – The International Day of Forests is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees outside forests. Some 1.6 billion people — including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures — depend on forests for food, fuel, shelter and income. Three quarters of freshwater comes from forested catchments. Forests prevent landslides and erosion and – in the case of mangrove forests — reduce loss of life and damage caused by tsunamis.
For these reasons, and more, forests are integral to the post-2015 development agenda. Among their most important functions is their role in building climate-resilient societies. That is why, in this year of action for sustainable development, climate change is the theme for the International Day of Forests. Continue reading →
New York, 21 March 2015 – This year’s World Down Syndrome Day falls as the international community is striving to create a universal, transformative agenda for sustainable development. The links between disability, human rights and development span a wide spectrum of development issues relating to economic, social and environmental factors. Every year on this observance, we reaffirm that persons with Down syndrome are entitled to the full enjoyment of all human rights. This year, we must make every effort to ensure that the new sustainable development goals address equality and help build a life of dignity for all, including people with Down syndrome and other persons with disabilities. Continue reading →
New York, 20 March 2015 – I wish everyone around the world a very happy International Day of Happiness!
The pursuit of happiness is serious business.
Happiness for the entire human family is one of the main goals of the United Nations.
Peace, prosperity, lives of dignity for all – this is what we seek. Continue reading →
Tuvalu, 19 March 2015 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is dispatching emergency life-saving supplies to communities in Tuvalu as part of its efforts to assist communities in the Pacific region that were affected by Tropical Cyclone Pam, with nutrition and hygiene kits arriving today.
The archipelago nation comprising of nine islands with about 11,000 people has declared a state of emergency, following tidal surges caused by last weekend’s cyclone, according to a UNICEF press release. Continue reading →
New York, 13 February 2015 – On World Radio Day, we celebrate a medium that captures the imagination and brings people together. Continue reading →