Category Archives: United Nations

Statement by the UN Secretary-General on Refugees, New York, 31 January 2017

Refugees fleeing conflict and persecution are entitled to protection, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said today, expressing concern at decisions around the world that have undermined the integrity of the international refugee protection regime.

On my way back from Ethiopia, the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa that for decades has been keeping its borders open to hundreds of thousands of refugees from its neighbors, many times in dramatic security situations, I want to state the following:

     – Countries have the right, even the obligation, to responsibly manage their borders to avoid infiltration by members of terrorist organizations.· This cannot be based on any form of discrimination related to religion, ethnicity or nationality because:

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رسالة الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بمناسبة اليوم الدولي لإحياء ذكرى ضحايا محرقة اليهود، ٢٧ كانون الثاني/يناير ٢٠١٧

إننا نكرِّم اليوم ضحايا محرقة اليهود، تلك المأساة التي لا مثيل لها في تاريخ البشرية.

         ومن واجب العالم أن يتذكر أن تلك المحرقة كانت محاولة منهجية لاستئصال الشعب اليهودي وأعداد كبيرة جدا من الأشخاص الآخرين.

         ومن الخطأ البِّين اعتبار محرقة اليهود مجرد نتيجة لجنون مجموعة من النازيين المجرمين. بل على العكس، لقد كانت المحرقة تتويجا لآلاف السنين من كراهية اليهود واتخاذهم أكباش فداء والتمييز ضدهم، وهو ما نسميه اليوم معادة السامية.

         وإنها لمأساة أن نشهد حاليا استمرارا لازدهار معاداة السامية رغم انعقاد عزمنا على دحرها. كما أننا نشهد تصاعداً مفزعاً للتطرف وكراهية الأجانب والعنصرية وكراهية المسلمين. وبِتنا نشهد مجدداً ظهور اللاعقلانية والتعصب. Continue reading

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF COMMEMORATION IN MEMORY OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST, 27 January 2017

Today, we honour the victims of the Holocaust, an incomparable tragedy in human history.

The world has a duty to remember that the Holocaust was a systematic attempt to eliminate the Jewish people and so many others.

It would be a dangerous error to think of the Holocaust as simply the result of the insanity of a group of criminal Nazis. On the contrary, the Holocaust was the culmination of millennia of hatred, scapegoating and discrimination targeting the Jews, what we now call anti-Semitism. Continue reading

UN Secretary-General’s video message to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, 24 January 2017

It is a pleasure to greet the Conference on Disarmament.

Disarmament is an integral element of a peaceful and prosperous world. It is one of the pillars on which the United Nations was built.

As Secretary-General, I am firmly resolved to actively pursue the abolition of all weapons of mass destruction and the strict regulation of conventional weapons. I am committed to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.

On taking the oath of office, I described a world of new and old conflicts woven i Continue reading

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S REMARKS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HIGH-LEVEL DIALOGUE ON ‘BUILDING SUSTAINABLE PEACE FOR ALL: SYNERGIES BETWEEN THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTAINING PEACE’, New York, 24 January 2017

Mr. President of the General Assembly, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, All protocol observed,

In recent decades, globalization and technological progress have generated unprecedented economic progress, with higher living standards for many and even a reduction in the number of people in extreme poverty.

But these benefits are not enjoyed by everyone. Inequality is high, and growing. According to recent figures, the eight richest people in the world have the same wealth as the 3.6 billion poorest. Children in sub-Saharan Africa are more than 14 times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than children in developed countries. Statistics like these drive discontent and erode trust in governments and international organizations. Continue reading

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S REMARKS TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL OPEN DEBATE ON “MAINTENANCE OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY: CONFLICT PREVENTION AND SUSTAINING PEACE”, NEW YORK, TUESDAY, 10 JANUARY 2017

Madame President, may I first of all thank you very much, and thank the Swedish presidency, for convening this meeting and allowing me to have my first formal presence in the Security Council, discussing what I believe must be the priority of everything we do together – preventing conflict and sustaining peace. And I believe that the massive attendance that we are registering in this meeting proves that indeed this message is something that we all fully recognize. Thank you very much again.

The United Nations was established to prevent war by binding us in a rules-based international order.   Continue reading

Secretary-General António Guterres’ address to staff, UNHQ, 3 January 2017

707658designateDear colleagues, this is indeed a very emotional moment for me. I am humbled and happy to be with all of you here today. Ten years ago, I had the chance to start being a staff member of the UN, and I had the privilege to serve not only the UN, but as High Commissioner for Refugees, to serve the most vulnerable of the vulnerable people. And in that work, I have learned that if the UN is the main pillar of multilateralism, UN staff is the main pillar of the UN.  And I could witness the courage, the determination, the generosity and the wisdom and competence of my UNHCR colleagues all over the world. And so, as you can imagine, after one year of sabbatical period, it is for me an enormous happiness, an enormous privilege to again call you my colleagues, and I’m very proud to be your colleague. Continue reading

نداء من أجل السلام – غوتيريش الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة، نيويورك، ١ كانون الثاني/يناير 2017

  في أول يوم لي بصفتي الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة، يشغل بالي سؤال مؤرق. فما السبيل إلى مساعدة ملايين الناس الذين تحاصرهم النزاعات ويعانون الأمرَّين من جراء حروب لا تلوح لها نهاية في الأفق؟

فمن هؤلاء مدنيون يموتون تحت القصف المدمر، ومنهم نساء وأطفال ورجال يسقطون بين قتيل وجريح، ومنهم نازحون من ديارهم قسرا في حال من الحرمان والعوز. بل لا يسلم من العنف مستشفى ولا قافلة تحمل المعونة.

إنها حروب لا رابح فيها، وكل من فيها خاسرون، حروب تُهدَر فيها الأموال بالتريليونات لتدمير المجتمعات والاقتصادات، وتأجيج مشاعر فقدان الثقة والخوف في دوامات يمكن أن تستمر أجيالا. ولقد أصبحنا اليوم ومناطق بأكملها تعاني من عدم الاستقرار، وصرنا جميعا مهددين بهذا الخطر الجديد الذي يشكله الإرهاب على الصعيد العالمي. Continue reading

Appeal for peace by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, 1 January 2017

Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees speaks during a press conference at the Launch of the Regional Flash Appeal Following recent events in Libyan Arab Jamahiri

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

On my first day as Secretary-General of the United Nations, one question weighs heavily on my heart.

How can we help the millions of people caught up in conflict, suffering massively in wars with no end in sight?

Civilians are pounded with deadly force. Women, children and men are killed and injured, forced from their homes, dispossessed and destitute. Even hospitals and aid convoys are targeted.

No one wins these wars; everyone loses. Trillions of dollars are spent destroying societies and economies, fueling cycles of mistrust and fear that can last for generations. Whole regions are destabilized and the new threat of global terrorism affects us all. Continue reading

UN Secretary-General’s remarks at final farewell to staff, New York, 30 December 2016

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon bids farewell to delegates, staff, senior advisers, and other well-wishers at UN Headquarters in New York. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon bids farewell to delegates, staff, senior advisers, and other well-wishers at UN Headquarters in New York. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

I’m honoured to be here with you, the President of the General Assembly, the President of the Security Council and most importantly, I’m extremely, extremely honoured and happy to meet you. You know, I have just a few more steps to go, and that’s the end of my mandate. That’s why I just wanted to stop here as long as possible to be with you.

I have made, during the last ten years, thousands and thousands of speeches and remarks. But there is not much for me to say.

I have just two words:  Thank you.

Thank you for your hard work, thank you for your commitment, thank you for your leadership for humanity. You have been working day in and day out.  And I thank you. That really has motivated me. Knowing that you are very much committed, that has given me motivation to work harder and harder. Continue reading