Category Archives: UN Secretary-General messages

First ever UN High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States to open in New York

Yaounde, 27 June 2018 

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres will on Thursday, 28 June 2018 convene the first United Nations High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States at UN Headquarters under the theme “Strengthening international cooperation to combat the evolving threat of terrorism.” The 2-day Conference will provide an opportunity for the UN and Member States to forge new partnerships to address the complex and transnational threat of terrorism.

In an Op-Ed, the UN Secretary General called for a concerted multilateral response at global, regional and national levels to defeat the threat of terrorism. He writes “Terrorism is a transnational threat that cannot be defeated by any single government or organization… we must also address root causes by promoting education, tackling youth unemployment and addressing marginalization.” through the engagement of local communities, religious organizations and the media.

Meanwhile, the Sixth Biennial Review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy of the General Assembly has opened at UN Headquarters. In advance of the event, the Secretary-General issued on 20 April his report on the activities of the UN System (A/72/840) (http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/72/840). The Review will provide an opportunity for Member States to take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the Strategy and to discuss the way forward.

Message du Secrétaire général: Journée internationale des Casques bleus de l’ONU, 29 mai 2018 (Scroll down for English)

Le 29 mai 1948, le Conseil de sécurité de l’Organisation des Nations Unies autorisait la première opération de maintien de la paix des Nations Unies : l’Organisme des Nations Unies chargé de la surveillance de la trêve au Moyen-Orient.

En ce soixante-dixième anniversaire, nous exprimons notre reconnaissance au plus d’un million de femmes et d’hommes qui ont servi sous la bannière des Nations Unies et sauvé ainsi d’innombrables vies.

Nous rendons hommage aux plus de 3 700 Casques bleus qui ont fait le sacrifice ultime.

Nous saluons enfin les 14 missions qui, aujourd’hui, œuvrent 24 heures sur 24 à protéger les populations et à faire avancer la cause de la paix.

Cette année, je célébrerai la Journée internationale des Casques bleus des Nations Unies au Mali afin de témoigner ma solidarité à ceux de nos collègues qui font face à de lourdes pertes et à une instabilité extrême.

Tout en saluant l’héritage laissé par ceux qui, dans le monde entier, ont placé leur vie sous le signe du service et du sacrifice, je tiens à dire combien je suis déterminé à prendre des mesures en faveur du maintien de la paix, des mesures qui visent à rendre nos opérations plus sûres et plus efficaces dans les conditions difficiles qui prévalent aujourd’hui.

Nous sommes également déterminés à renforcer le rôle que nos forces ont à jouer dans la promotion des droits de l’homme et la lutte contre l’exploitation et les atteintes sexuelles.

Les opérations de maintien de la paix des Nations Unies constituent un investissement efficace en faveur de la paix, de la sécurité et de la prospérité mondiales.

Ensemble, engageons-nous à faire tout notre possible pour que cette mission soit couronnée de succès.

Je vous remercie.

Secretary-General’s Message for 2018 International Day of UN Peacekeepers

On May 29th, 1948, the United Nations Security Council authorized the first United Nations peacekeeping operation – the UN Truce Supervision Organization in the Middle East.

On this 70th anniversary, we express our gratitude to the more than one million men and women who have served under the UN flag, saving countless lives.

We honour the more than 3,700 blue helmets who paid the ultimate price.

And we pay tribute to the fourteen missions working around the clock today to protect people and advance the cause of peace.

This year, I will spend International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers in Mali to express my solidarity with colleagues facing high casualties and enormous volatility.

As we recognize a legacy of service and sacrifice around the world, I am also committed to taking action for peacekeeping — action to make our operations safer and more effective in today’s challenging environments.

We also are committed to reinforcing the important role our forces must play in promoting human rights and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse.

United Nations peacekeeping is a proven investment in global peace, security and prosperity.

Together, let us pledge to do all we can to enable that mission to succeed.

Thank you.

The Secretary – General’s message on Africa Day

In March this year, Africa’s leaders launched the African Continental Free Trade Area.  Representing one of the largest markets in the world, with 1.2 billion consumers, the Free Trade Area can boost regional integration, drive economic growth, generate jobs for young Africans, alleviate poverty and lead to more stable and peaceful societies.

This is just the latest example of achievement under the umbrella of the African Union – formerly the Organisation of African Unity – which marks its 55th anniversary this year.  Across Africa, entrepreneurship is up, access to education has increased and child mortality has declined.  More women are serving in parliaments, and economic growth in several countries is greater than in other parts of the world.

Africa is increasingly driving its own future.  The guiding vision for Africa’s development is the African Union’s Agenda 2063.  Fully complementary to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Agenda 2063 provides a foundation for resilience and social and economic progress for the entire continent.  The United Nations is fully committed to supporting Africa’s efforts.  To that end, the two organizations have in the past year signed frameworks on peace and security and on the coherent implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda.

Peace and sustainable development are two sides of the same coin – one cannot be achieved without the other.  To promote peace, the United Nations will continue to support prevention.  We must collectively strengthen our ability to detect and defuse crises before they escalate and sharpen our tools for addressing their causes.  The United Nations will also work to support the African Union’s commitment to “Silence the Guns” by 2020 and promote the indispensable role of women and youth in conflict prevention and peace building.

On this Africa Day, I urge all nations to support a peaceful, prosperous Africa.  What is good for Africa is good for the world.

Déclaration attribuable au porte-parole du Secrétaire général sur le meurtre d’un Casque bleu de la MINUSCA en République centrafricaine (Scroll down for English)

New York, 10 Avril 2018

Le Secrétaire général condamne le meurtre d’un Casque bleu rwandais ainsi que les blessures infligées à huit autres membres de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA) le 10 avril à Bangui lors d’un échange de tirs avec des éléments armés.

Cet incident fait suite à une opération conjointe lancée le 8 avril par la MINUSCA ainsi que les forces armées et la police centrafricaines pour désarmer et arrêter des groupes criminels lourdement armés dans le troisième arrondissement de Bangui.

Le Secrétaire général présente ses plus sincères condoléances à la famille de la victime ainsi qu’au Gouvernement rwandais et souhaite un prompt rétablissement aux blessés.
Le Secrétaire général rappelle que les attaques contre les forces de maintien de la paix des Nations Unies peuvent constituer un crime de guerre et appelle les autorités centrafricaines à enquêter sur ces cas et à traduire rapidement les responsables en justice.

Le Secrétaire général réitère la détermination de la MINUSCA à protéger les civils et à contribuer à la stabilisation de la République centrafricaine.

 Stéphane Dujarric , Porte-Parole du Secrétaire général de l’ONU

 

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the killing of a MINUSCA peacekeeper in the Central African Republic

New York, 10 April 2018

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the killing of a Rwandan peacekeeper and the wounding of eight others of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 10 April, in Bangui during an exchange of fire with armed elements.

The incident follows a joint operation launched on 8 April by MINUSCA and the Central African forces and police to disarm and arrest heavily armed criminal groups.

The Secretary-General offers his deepest condolences to the family of the bereaved, as well as to the Government of Rwanda, and wishes a swift recovery to the injured.

The Secretary-General recalls that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime and calls on the Central African Republic authorities to investigate them and swiftly bring those responsible to justice.

The Secretary-General reiterates the determination of MINUSCA to protect civilians and contribute to the stabilization of the Central African Republic.

Stéphane Dujarric , Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General 

 

NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS ON JOINT UN/AU VISIT TO SUDAN, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC AND ETHIOPIA

New York, 8 April 2018
 
Joint visit of Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui to Sudan and the Central African Republic – 7-13 April 2018
On 8 April 2018, the Under Secretary-General (USG) for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, started a weeklong joint visit to Sudan and the Central African Republic. The joint visit is aimed at further strengthening the important partnership between the United Nations and the African Union, as emphasized by both UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Upon arrival in Khartoum, USG Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui held discussions with various interlocutors on the overall situation in Darfur and the implementation of UNAMID mandate, including its ongoing reconfiguration. They attended the 25th meeting of the Tripartite Coordination Mechanism on UNAMID on 8 April. The Mechanism, composed of representatives of the Government of Sudan (GoS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), is a forum at the strategic level aimed at resolving issues and challenges related to UNAMID. USG Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui held meetings with Government officials, including the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Ibrahim Ghandour. On 9 April, they are scheduled to travel to El Fasher, Darfur, which hosts the headquarters of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
From 10-13 April, USG Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui will travel to Bangui, Central African Republic, where they will meet with senior Government officials, senior UN and AU officials and other interlocutors. They will highlight the cooperation between the UN and the AU in seeking political solutions to the country’s conflict. They will also co-chair the first meeting of the International Support Group on the CAR aimed at encouraging the international community to re-engage in the peace process and to support the urgent humanitarian needs of millions in the country.
USG Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui will then travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where they will jointly brief the African Union Peace and Security Council on 13 April and meet senior AU officials.

Déclaration attribuable au porte-parole du Secrétaire général sur l’attaque contre un convoi de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en République centrafricaine [Scroll down for English]

New York, le 9 mai 2017: Le Secrétaire général condamne fermement l’attaque perpétrée par un groupe soupçonné d’anti-Balaka contre un convoi de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA) le 8 mai, sur l’axe Rafai-Bangassou, dans le sud-est de la République centrafricaine. L’attaque a causé la mort de quatre casques bleus tandis que dix autres ont été blessés et évacués sur Bangui. Un casque bleu est toujours porté disparu.

Le Secrétaire général présente ses plus sincères condoléances aux familles endeuillées at aux Gouvernements des pays contributeurs de troupes concernés, et souhaite un prompt rétablissement aux blessés. Le Secrétaire général souligne que les attaques contre les casques bleus des Nations Unies peuvent constituer un crime de guerre. Il lance un appel aux autorités de la République centrafricaine pour qu’une enquête soit lancée afin que les responsables répondent rapidement de leurs actes devant la justice.

Le Secrétaire général souhaite réitérer son soutien aux actions de la MINUSCA pour protéger les civils et stabiliser la République centrafricaine, et demande aux parties de répondre favorablement à l’appel du Président Faustin Archange Touadéra en vue d’arrêter les violences et de travailler ensemble pour la stabilité du pays.

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the attack against a convoy of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic

New York, 09 May 2017: The Secretary-General strongly condemns the attack perpetrated by suspected anti-Balaka against a convoy of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 8 May, on the Rafai-Bangassou axis, in the south east of the Central African Republic. The attack led to the death of four peacekeepers while ten others have been evacuated to Bangui. One peacekeeper is still missing.

The Secretary-General offers his deepest condolences to the bereaved families and the Governments of the concerned troop contributing countries, and wishes a swift recovery to the wounded. The Secretary-General would like to underline that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. He calls on the Central African Republic authorities to investigate the attack in order to swiftly bring those responsible to justice.

The Secretary-General would like to reiterate his support to the actions of MINUSCA to protect civilians and stabilise the Central African Republic, and call on all parties to heed President Faustin Archange Touadéra’s call to cease violence and work together towards the stability of the country.

UN Secretary-General – Remarks on Designation of Malala Yousafzai as UN Messenger of Peace

New York, 10 April 2017
Dear Malala, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

It is for me a very emotional day to be here with you. You are the symbol of one of the most important causes in the world – probably the most important cause in the world – and that is education, education for all, and particularly because we know it is more difficult in many societies – education for girls.

 Now, I must say I am a frustrated ex Assistant Professor of Physics in my University. When I say frustrated, because I wanted to be a Professor but with the revolution in Portugal I had to close all my papers and dedicate myself to other things. But there was always this nostalgia, being a professor, and can you imagine what it is for a frustrated Professor to be facing the most famous student in the world. It is an enormous pleasure to have you as our Messenger of Peace.

You are not only a hero, but you are a very committed and generous person, and the person that has this fantastic quality … a Nobel Prize, recognized everywhere, and you keep the same simplicity, the same open way to deal with all of us. People usually when they get all these honours become full of vanity, they become difficult to access, but you are this fantastic example of friendship and simplicity that really makes us very, very, very appreciative.

On the other hand, you have been going to the most difficult places, where education has more problems in becoming a reality. You have visited several refugee camps.  You have  two schools of your foundation in Lebanon, in the Beka’a Valley, where so many refugees are.  I have spent ten years of my life dealing with refugees, so you can imagine how happy I am to be able to confer to you the important responsibility of being a Messenger of Peace.   I am in total denial of protocol, but I think I have to read something here.

This is your assignment. Today, I am proud to designate you the youngest ever United Nations Messenger of Peace, with a special focus on girls’ education.

This is the official designation: inspired by your dedicated service to the ideals and objectives of the United Nations, especially its vision of a life of dignity for all people admiring of your courageous defense of the rights of all people, including women and girls, to education and equality honouring the fact that you have shown, even in the face of grave danger, an unwavering commitment to peace conscious of your consistent focus on the best in humankind and your resolve to foster a better world grateful that your example has energized people of goodwill to join together in pursuit of our common values hopeful that your principled activism will advance our shared vision of a future of justice, equity and sustainable progress it takes great pride and pleasure to me in proclaiming Malala Yousafzai a United Nations Messenger of Peace”.

Déclaration conjointe sur la République centrafricaine de la Communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique centrale, l’Union africaine, l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, l’Union européenne et l’Organisation des Nations unies

19 février 2017
Libreville, Addis Abéba, Paris, Bruxelles et New York, le 19 février 2017: La Communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique centrale (CEEAC), l’Union africaine, l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), l’Union européenne (UE) et l’Organisation des Nations unies (ONU) sont profondément préoccupées par la situation sécuritaire en République centrafricaine (RCA), en particulier dans les préfectures de la Ouaka et de la Hautte-Kotto.

Les cinq organisations partenaires condamnent les dernières violences perpétrées par le Front populaire pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique (FPRC) et ses alliés, ainsi que par le Mouvement pour l’Unité et la Paix en Centrafrique (UPC), qui ont causé de lourdes pertes parmi les populations civiles et des déplacements importants, aggravant ainsi une situation humanitaire déjà alarmante. Elles expriment leur profonde appréciation pour l”action robuste que la MINUSCA a prise dans le cadre de son mandat, pour protéger les civils et aider à mettre fin aux violences dans les zones menacées par les belligérants, et l’encouragent à persévérer dans ses efforts. Les cinq organisations partenaires exigent des belligérants qu’ils cessent immédiatement les hostilités. Elles rappellent que toute attaque contre la population civile, le personnel des Nations unies et des organisations humanitaires est passible de poursuites judiciaires, conformément à la législation centrafricaine et au droit international. Elles saluent les mesures prises en vue du fonctionnement effectif de la Cour pénale spéciale.

Les cinq organisations partenaires rappellent que seul le dialogue, dans le respect de l’ordre constitutionnel et démocratique, permettra de trouver des réponses appropriées et durables aux préoccupations légitimes des différents acteurs centrafricains concernés. A cet égard, elles réitèrent l’importance que revêt l’Initiative africaine pour la paix et la réconciliation portée par l”UA, la CEEAC et la Conférence internationale sur la région des Grands Lacs (CIRGL) et soutenue par l”Angola, le Congo et le Tchad. Elles expriment leur engagement à travailler ensemble à l’aboutissement de cette Initiative, en appui aux efforts du Président Faustin-Archange Touadéra visant à promouvoir durablement la réconciliation et une gouvernance inclusive dans le prolongement des conclusions du Forum de Bangui. Elles soulignent que les groupes armés qui se livreraient à de nouvelles violences courent le risque de s’exclure, d’eux-mêmes, de l’Initiative africaine et s’exposent à des sanctions internationales additionnelles.

Joint statement on the Central African Republic by the Economic Community of Central African States, the African Union, the International Organization of La Francophonie, the European Union and the United Nations

The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the African Union (AU), the International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF), the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) are deeply concerned by the security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), particularly in the prefectures of Ouaka and Hautte-Kotto.

The five partner organizations condemn the latest acts of violence perpetrated by the Front populaire pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique (FPRC) and its allies, as well as by the Mouvement pour l’Unité et la Paix en Centrafrique (UPC), that have caused heavy civilian losses and significant population displacement, thereby worsening an already alarming humanitarian situation. They express their deep appreciation for the robust action undertaken by MINUSCA, in the framework of its mandate, to protect civilians and help put an end to violence in the areas threatened by the belligerents, and encourage it to continue its efforts.

The five partner organizations demand that the belligerents cease the hostilities immediately. They recall that all attacks against the civilian population, the United Nations and humanitarian personnel may be subject to judicial prosecution, in line with the Central African legislation and international law. They welcome the measures put in place for the operationalization of the Special Criminal Court. The five partner organizations recall that only dialogue, in adherence with the constitutional and democratic order, will allow the concerned Central African actors to find the appropriate and sustainable responses to their legitimate grievances. In this regard, they reiterate the importance of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation led by the AU, ECCAS and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and supported by Angola, the Republic of Congo and Chad. They expressed their commitment to work together for the success of this Initiative, in support of the efforts of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra aimed at sustainably promoting reconciliation and inclusive governance in line with the conclusions of the Bangui Forum. They underscore that those armed groups that engage in new violent acts run the risk of excluding themselves from the African Initiative and expose themselves to additional international sanctions.

A Continent of Hope By António Guterres

Far too often, the world views Africa through the prism of problems.  When I look to Africa, I see a continent of hope, promise and vast potential.  I am committed to building on those strengths and establishing a higher platform of cooperation between the United Nations and the leaders and people of Africa.  This is essential to advancing inclusive and sustainable development and deepening cooperation for peace and security.  That is the message I carried to the recent African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — my first major mission as United Nations Secretary-General.

Above all, I came in a spirit of profound solidarity and respect.  I am convinced that the world has much to gain from African wisdom, ideas and solutions. I also brought with me a deep sense of gratitude.  Africa provides the majority of United Nations peacekeepers around the world.  African nations are among the world’s largest and most generous hosts of refugees.  Africa includes some of the world’s fastest growing economies.  

The recent resolution of the political crisis in the Gambia once again demonstrated the power of African leadership and unity to overcome governance challenges and uphold democracy, human rights and the rule of law.  I left the Summit more convinced than ever that all of humanity will benefit by listening, learning and working with the people of Africa.

We have the plans in place to build a better future.  The international community has entered the second year of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an all-out effort to tackle global poverty, inequality, instability and injustice.  Africa has adopted its own complementary and ambitious plan: Agenda 2063.  For the people of Africa to fully benefit from these important efforts, these two agendas need to be strategically aligned.  It starts with prevention.  Our world needs to move from managing crises to preventing them in the first place.  We need to break the cycle of responding too late and too little.  

Most of today’s conflicts are internal, triggered by competition for power and resources, inequality, marginalization and sectarian divides.  Often, they are inflamed by violent extremism or provide the fuel for it.  The United Nations is committed to working hand-in-hand with partners wherever conflict or the threat of conflict endangers stability and well-being.  But prevention goes far beyond focusing solely on conflict.  The best means of prevention and the surest path to durable peace is inclusive and sustainable development.

We can speed progress by doing more to provide opportunities and hope to young people.  More than three out of five Africans are under 35 years of age.  Making the most of this tremendous asset means more investment in education, training, decent work, and engaging young people in shaping their future. We must also do our utmost to empower women so they can play a full role in sustainable development and sustainable peace.  I am pleased that the African Union has consistently placed a special focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment.  

I have seen it again and again:  When we empower women, we empower the world.  I travelled to Africa as a partner, friend and committed advocate for changing the narrative about this diverse and vital continent.  Crises represent at best a partial view.  But from a higher platform of cooperation, we can see the whole picture – one that spotlights the enormous potential and remarkable success stories in every corner of the African continent.  With that perspective, I have no doubt we can win the battle for sustainable and inclusive development which are also the best weapons to prevent conflict and suffering, allowing Africa to shine even more vibrantly and inspire the world.  

UN envoy strongly condemns attack on UN team near Nigeria-Cameroon border

Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS). UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

 1 February 2017 – Strongly condemning an attack against a United Nations monitoring team near the Nigeria-Cameroon border that resulted in the death of five persons, the UN envoy for West Africa and the Sahel region, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, called on both countries to take swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice.

According to preliminary reports, at around 14:00 hours, yesterday, an unknown armed group attacked a UN Technical Monitoring Team, killing five individuals – a UN independent contractor, three Nigerians nationals and one Cameroonian national – and injuring several others.

The team was conducting a field mission in the vicinity of Hosere Jongbi, near Kontcha, Cameroon, about 700 kilometres north of the capital Yaoundé, as part of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission mandate.

In a news release issued by the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mr. Chambas reiterated the vital role of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission in accomplishing the border demarcation, in compliance with a judgment of the International Court of Justice, and in contributing to stability and security in the region.

He also offered his condolences to the families of those killed in the attack and wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

The Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission was established by the UN Secretary-General, at the request of Presidents of Cameroon and Nigeria, in 2002, to settle border issues between the two West African neighbours.

The Mixed Commission’s mandate includes demarcation of the land boundary and delimitation of the maritime boundary between the two countries; withdrawal of troops and transfer of authority in the Lake Chad area, along the land boundary and in the Bakassi Peninsula; addressing the situation of populations affected by the demarcation activities; and development of recommendations on confidence-building measures aiming at promoting peaceful cross-border cooperation.