Category Archives: Secretary General

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S Remarks at Panel on “Transparency and the death penalty”, New York, 10 October 2017

I thank the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Member States who have co-sponsored this important event.

We are here to explore a very urgent and troubling human rights issue: the continued use of the death penalty, and the secrecy that surrounds it.

This is my first public statement as Secretary-General on the death penalty.

I want to make a plea to all States that continue this barbaric practice:

Please stop the executions.

The death penalty has no place in the 21st century.

I am proud to say that my country, Portugal, abolished capital punishment 150 years ago – one of the first countries to do so. As a matter of fact, I was told in school that we were the first country, but I don’t want to create any incident with any other country that claims … but this is indeed something I am very proud of. Continue reading

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ADDRESS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, New York, 19 September 2017

I am here in a spirit of gratitude and humility for the trust you have placed in me to serve the world’s peoples.

“We the peoples”, and the United Nations, face grave challenges.

Our world is in trouble.  People are hurting and angry.  They see insecurity rising, inequality growing, conflict spreading and climate changing. The global economy is increasingly integrated, but our sense of global community may be disintegrating. Societies are fragmented.  Political discourse is polarized.

Trust within and among countries is being driven down by those who demonize and divide. We are a world in pieces.

We need to be a world at peace. And I strongly believe that, together, we can build peace.  We can restore trust and create a better world for all. I will focus today on seven threats and tests that stand in our way.   For each, the dangers are all too clear.  Yet for each, if we act as truly united nations, we can find answers.

First, the nuclear peril. Continue reading

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S REMARKS AT HIGH-LEVEL PANEL ON WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT, New York, 19 September 2017

Allow me before I read a few more orthodox remarks a more subversive reflection. I am very happy to participate in a meeting about empowerment, because when we discuss gender equality, in my humble belief, there is essentially a question of power. It’s power at all levels, in a male-dominated world where there is still a male-dominated culture – power in family relations, power in society, power in the economy, power in politics – to a large extent – there is a serious question of power. Continue reading

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S REMARKS AT LEADERS’ DIALOGUE ON CLIMATE CHANGE, New York, 19 September 2017

Thank you for being here today.

Your leadership is absolutely key to attaining and raising the ambition of the Paris Agreement.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and Maria and the massive floods in South Asia are just the most recent demonstration of the urgency of tackling climate change. Such events will only become more frequent and more savage, with more dramatic humanitarian and economic consequences.

Countries have signed up to the Paris Agreement. But we know that current pledges and plans are insufficient to keep global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees. In 2020, Parties will review progress. By then, we need to make sure that we have substantially raised the bar of ambition. We are still on a path for a world that may be 3 or more degrees warmer. We need emissions to peak and resilience to build. Last year, more than 24 million people were displaced by weather-related disasters. And the number of such events has nearly quadrupled since 1970. Climate change is challenging the security of many states, especially small islands. The answer lies in the total transformation of our economies, and this is achievable. Globally, investment in green infrastructure has grown six-fold in a decade to almost $300 billion dollars. The rate of growth is highest in emerging economies. Continue reading

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL REMARKS ON ROLE OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS IN PEACEBUILDING IN THE MIDDLE EAST, New York, 18 July 2017

I want to thank the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, for organizing this important panel discussion. I also commend the Government of Spain – and particularly Foreign Minister Alfonso María Dastis – as well as the many religious leaders gathered here for your initiative.

The Holy Land has a special place in the hearts of billions of people around the world.  The faiths that you represent are branches of the same Abrahamic tree – and have done so much to contribute and enrich our world and global civilization. Continue reading

UNITED NATIONS ENTITY FOR GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. (Photo: Marco Grob.)

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, following consultations with Member States and the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), announced today the appointment of Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of South Africa as Executive Director of UN-Women for a further term of four years.

Before joining UN-Women, she worked with women and girls in different capacities in civil society and as a public representative, focusing on political and economic rights as well as girls’ education. Her experience includes promoting gender equality for women in both the private and the public sectors and involvements in her country’s struggle against Apartheid. As World YWCA coordinator for young women’s programmes she has worked with young women all over the world. Continue reading

رسالة الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بمناسبة اليوم الدولي لمكافحة إساءة استعمال المخدرات والاتجار غير المشروع بها، نيويورك، ٢٦ حزيران/يونيه 2017

قام المجتمع الدولي في العام الماضي، في إطار الدورة الاستثنائية للجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة بشأن مشكلة المخدرات العالمية (الدورة الاستثنائية)، باتخاذ خطوات للتعبئة لعمل جماعي متعدد الأوجه غايته معالجة كافة القضايا المتعلقة بإساءة استعمال المخدرات والاتجار غير المشروع بها. فقد اجتمعت الحكومات لرسم مسار جديد للعمل في المستقبل، عمل أكثر نجاعة وإنسانية لا يترك وراءه أحداً.

         وكانت الدورة الاستثنائية لحظة فاصلة تمخضت عن خطة عمل مفصلة ذات توجه مستقبلي. ومن واجبنا اليوم جميعا أن نَفيَ بالالتزامات التي قُطعت بالإجماع للتخفيف من أضرار المخدرات، وأن نسلك نهجا يشجع على المساواة والتنمية المستدامة، وعلى توطيد دعائم السلام والأمن. Continue reading

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST DRUG ABUSE AND ILLICIT TRAFFICKING, New York, 26 June 2017

Last year, at the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS), the international community took steps to mobilize a multifaceted, collective response to the full range of issues related to drug abuse and illicit trafficking. Governments came together to chart a new path forward that is more effective and humane, and leaves no one behind.

UNGASS was a ground-breaking moment that provided a detailed and forward-looking blueprint for action. Together, we must honour the unanimous commitments made to reduce drug abuse, illicit trafficking and the harm that drugs cause, and to ensure that our approach promotes equality, human rights, sustainable development, and greater peace and security. Continue reading

رسالة الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بمناسبة اليوم العالمي للاجئين، 20 حزيران/يونيه 2017

اليوم العالمي للاجئين هو تعبير عن التضامن مع الناس الذين اجتُثوا من ديارهم بسبب الحرب أو الاضطهاد.

         وتبيّن آخر الأرقام الصادرة عن مفوضية الأمم المتحدة لشؤون اللاجئين أن ما لا يقل عن 65.6 مليون شخص – أي واحد من كل 113 فرداً من أفراد الأسرة البشرية – قد شردوا قسرا داخل بلدانهم أو عبر الحدود. (شاهد فيديو على هذا الموقع)

         ومع أن سورية لا تزال أكبر مصدر للاجئين في العالم، فإن جنوب السودان يمثل حالة الطوارئ الجديدة الأكبر والأسرع تزايدا من حيث عدد المشردين، إذ أن ثمة .41 مليون لاجئ و 1.9 مليون شخص مشرد داخليا، ومعظمهم تحت سن الـ 18 عاما – ويشكل ذلك ضربة أخرى لآفاق المستقبل في الدولة الأصغر عمراً في العالم.

         وتكمن وراء هذه الأرقام الكبيرة قصص فردية تعبر عن المشقة، والانفصال والضياع؛ والرحلات المحفوفة بالخطر على الحياة بحثا عن السلامة؛ والصراعات الهائلة لإعادة بناء الحياة في ظروف صعبة. ومن المفجع أن نرى الحدود مغلقة، والناس يهلكون أثناء محاولتهم العبور، وأن يشح العالم بوجهه عن اللاجئين والمهاجرين على حد سواء بشكل ينتهك حقوق الإنسان والقانون الدولي. والتكلفة البشرية الناجمة عن ذلك ضخمة: فقدان ملايين الوظائف، وحرمان ملايين الأطفال من الذهاب إلى المدارس، والعيش في ظل شعور بالاضطهاد بسبب الصدمات والتعصب. Continue reading

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S MESSAGE ON WORLD REFUGEE DAY, 20 June 2017

World Refugee Day is an expression of solidarity with people who have been uprooted from their homes by war or persecution.

The latest figures from the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, show that at least 65.6 million people — 1 of every 113 members of the human family — have been forcibly displaced within their own countries or across borders. (Watch video at this link).

While Syria remains the world’s largest source of refugees, South Sudan is the biggest and fastest growing new displacement emergency, with 1.4 million refugees and 1.9 million internally displaced, the vast majority of them under 18 – a further blow to the future prospects of the world’s youngest nation. Continue reading