Category Archives: UN Secretary-General messages

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ 2019 New Year video message

Dear fellow citizens of the world, I wish you a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year.

Last New Year, I issued a red alert, and the dangers I mentioned still persist. These are anxious times for many, and our world is undergoing a stress test. Climate change is running faster than we are. Geo-political divisions are deepening, making conflicts more difficult to resolve.

And record numbers of people are moving in search of safety and protection. Inequality is growing. And people are questioning a world in which a handful of people hold the same wealth as half of humanity.

Intolerance is on the rise. Trust is on the decline. But there are also reasons for hope.  The talks on Yemen have created a chance for peace. The agreement signed in Riyadh in September between Ethiopia and Eritrea has eased long-running tensions and brought improved prospects to an entire region.

And the agreement between the parties to the conflict in South Sudan has revitalized chances for peace, bringing more progress in the past four months than in the previous four years.

The United Nations was able to bring countries together in Katowice to approve the Work Programme for the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Now we need to increase ambition to beat this existential threat. It’s time to seize our last best chance. It’s time to stop uncontrolled and spiraling climate change. In recent weeks, the United Nations also oversaw landmark global agreements on migration and refugees, that will help to save lives and overcome damaging myths.

And everywhere, people are mobilizing behind the Sustainable Development Goals – our global blueprint for peace, justice and prosperity on a healthy planet. When international cooperation works, the world wins.

In 2019, the United Nations will continue to bring people together to build bridges and create space for solutions. We will keep up the pressure. And we will never give up.

As we begin this New Year, let’s resolve to confront threats, defend human dignity and build a better future — together. I wish you and your families a peaceful and healthy New Year.

UN Secretary-General’s statement on Cameroon

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC, SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
TUESDAY, 29 JANUARY 2019

CAMEROON

“In answer ro questions about the situation in Cameroon, the UN is concerned about reports of violence and use of force by security forces during demonstrations in Douala in recent days. We condemn incidents of violence at Cameroonian embassies in Paris and Berlin.
The UN is also concerned about the reported arrest of Mr. Maurice Kamto, the leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement and some members of his party which reportedly took place yesterday. the UN calls on Cameroonian authorities to respect the freedom of assembly, association and expression and stress the need for restraint by all political actors.
The Secretary-General reiterates the need for all Cameroonian stakeholders to engage in an inclusive and genuine political dialogue to address the challenges facing the country. The United Nations stands ready to support such efforts.”

Cameroun : le chef de l’ONU demande la libération immédiate des collégiens enlevés à Bamenda

6 novembre 2018

Le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, António Guterres, a condamné mardi l’enlèvement présumé d’élèves et de membres du personnel d’une école secondaire de Bamenda, la capitale de la région du Nord-Ouest du Cameroun.

Selon les informations rapportées par la presse, des hommes armés non identifiés ont pris d’assaut dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi l’école secondaire presbytérienne située dans le quartier de Bamenda III, sur les hauteurs de la ville. 79 collégiens, leur principal, un chauffeur et un enseignant auraient été enlevés dans cette attaque.

M. Guterres a appelé à leur libération immédiate et à leur retour dans leurs foyers et leurs familles. « Rien ne peut justifier ces crimes contre des civils, en particulier des mineurs », a déclaré son porte-parole dans une déclaration de presse.

Cet enlèvement s’est produit dans un contexte particulièrement tendu dans la partie anglophone du Cameroun ou une crise oppose les séparatistes aux forces de l’ordre.

Le chef de l’ONU a réitéré la nécessité d’une solution aux crises qui touchent les régions du Nord-Ouest et du Sud-Ouest du Cameroun par le biais d’un processus de dialogue inclusif. « Les Nations Unies sont prêtes à apporter leur aide à cet égard », a souligné son porte-parole.

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on abductions in Cameroon
 
The Secretary-General condemns the reported kidnapping on 5 November of students and staff from a secondary school in Bamenda, North-West region of Cameroon. He calls for their immediate release and return to their homes and families. There can be no justification for these crimes against civilians, particularly minors.

The Secretary-General reiterates the need for a peaceful solution to the crisis in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon through an inclusive dialogue process. The United Nations stands ready to assist in this regard.
 
Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 6 November 2018

Never give up’: UN chief urges all who serve, marking UN Day 2018

© UNHCR/Fauzan Ijazah
A UNHCR staff member comforts a survivor in Indonesia, who cries as she recounts her traumatic experience during the earthquake and liquefaction, in Palu, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. 21 October 2018.

 

23 October 2018

Marking the 2018 United Nations Day, which falls on 24 October, Secretary-General António Guterres is urging the men and women of the UN, and those they serve, to “never give up” tackling the world’s many challenges.

In a video released in advance of UN Day, Mr. Guterres said that, despite the odds and obstacles, and growing inequality “we don’t give up because we know by reducing inequality we increase hope and opportunity and peace around the world.”

The UN chief made clear the Organization’s determination to implement climate action, fight for human rights and the life of peace that everyone deserves to enjoy: “On United Nations Day, let us reaffirm our commitment. To repair broken trust. To heal our planet. To leave no one behind. To uphold dignity for one and all, as united nations.”

UN day commemorates the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.

Between October and November, visitors to UN Headquarters can see a photo exhibition called “People on the Move,” which is being displayed in the Visitor’s Lobby of the General Assembly building, in connection with 2018 UN Day.

The exhibition captures moments in time from the last seven decades of the millions of those who have, for one reason or another, become people on the move.

You can find out more about the UN charter, the history of the Organization and how to visit UN headquarters in Geneva here.

Cameroun : SG de l’ONU appelle les électeurs à se rendre aux urnes pour le scrutin présidentiel

Cameroun : le chef de l’ONU appelle les électeurs à se rendre aux urnes pour le scrutin présidentiel

Photo ONU/Mark Garten
Le Secrétaire général de l’ONU António Guterres.
4 octobre 2018

Alors que le Cameroun se prépare à tenir des élections présidentielles le 7 octobre, le Secrétaire général de l’ONU, António Guterres, a encouragé jeudi tous les Camerounais à exercer leur droit démocratique et a appelé à un processus pacifique, crédible et inclusif.

« Le Secrétaire général appelle toutes les parties prenantes à faire preuve de retenue avant, pendant et après les élections », a dit son porte-parole adjoint, Farhan Haq, dans une déclaration à la presse.

« Il appelle également tous les candidats à résoudre tout grief lié au processus électoral par les voies légales et constitutionnelles établies », a-t-il ajouté.

« Le Secrétaire général condamne toute menace de violence ou tout acte d’intimidation par quelque groupe que ce soit et réitère que tous les griefs doivent être résolus dans le cadre d’un dialogue inclusif. Les Nations Unies sont prêtes à apporter un soutien à cet égard », a encore dit le porte-parole adjoint

Deputy Secretary-General Remarks at High-level event on the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa

New York, 26 September 2018

Amina New DSG Portrait

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to join you today as we focus attention on Africa’s industrial and socio-economic development.

I am encouraged by the presence of so many high-level representatives from both the public and private sectors. This year’s event comes when Africa’s economic growth is beginning to recover after the decline witnessed in 2016. Real output growth is estimated to have increased by 3.6 percent in 2017, up from 2.2 percent in 2016, and is poised to accelerate to 4.1 percent in 2018 and 2019.

This is indeed welcome news and a reflection of the continent’s strong potential. However, despite this positive economic growth, challenges remain for the achievement of meaningful inclusive and sustainable industrial development for Africa.

The diversification of African economies through value addition is essential for sustainable growth, market resilience and withstanding economic shocks. To that end, we welcome the launch this year of the African Continental Free Trade Area. This will constitute the world’s largest free trade area in terms of membership and will also create a single market of 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of over 2.5 trillion dollars, which is expected to double by 2050.

Sustainable industrialization is key to the success of the Free Trade Area, with an emphasis on inclusive development that harnesses the energy, drive, creativity and skills of women and youth. Within the framework of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa, commendable efforts are being undertaken by different stakeholders, including within the United Nations.

We have a roadmap for its implementation that will form the basis for joint programmes between UN agencies and key stakeholders.  This and other achievements are captured in the progress report on the Decade that will be presented to the General Assembly.

Going forward, I would like to highlight five areas for special attention.

First, congruency between alignment and cohesive regional and industrial policies. Trade and industry policies that talk to each other are much more likely to yield positive results than those implemented in isolation.

Second, enhanced focus to investments on infrastructure development. This includes special economic zones and industrial parks; roads; ports; harbours; energy infrastructure; information and communication technologies and digital infrastructure.

Third, enhanced value addition local contacts, with a focus on agriculture and other natural resources. As the mainstay of most African countries, these hold the key for accelerated sustainable growth, diversification and job creation.

Fourth, is trade capacity building to facilitate fuller participation in regional and global value chains. Being at the table needs muscle capacity to engage and negotiate the best deals for your country.

And fifth is human capital development and technology with a focus on women and youth to ensure inclusive development.

It is also clear that the agendas set out in the Industrial Development Decade and the African Continental Free Trade Area cannot be achieved by any single entity or country.  There is need to build and strengthen partnerships among all relevant stakeholders.

Finally creating a space for these partnerships to focus on five areas mentioned and addition, encouraging technology transfer, building productive capacity, creating jobs, promoting international trade, supporting economic diversification, and building green industries.

Creative and innovative approaches must continue to be deployed to mobilize both financial and non-financial resources. Maximizing financing for development means a number of things. We must mobilize domestic resources alongside international financial resources.

We need to harness the role of the private sector in financing development. And we must maximize the use of innovative financing sources and mechanisms including pension funds, insurance and other large pools of private capital.

To do this, it is vital that we share experiences and lessons among countries. We also need to leverage and deepen strategic North-South; South-South and Triangular cooperation.

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the United Nations, I reaffirm our continued strong commitment and action to sustainabledevelopment on the continent and ensuring an inclusive, resilient, and secure future, for all Africans.

I wish you a productive meeting.

Death of former UNSG Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary General passed away on Saturday, 18 August. A truly global leader. Mr Annan served two terms as United Nations Secretary General from 1997- 2006 and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for humanitarian work.

In his tribute, UN Secretary-General António Guterres describe Mr Annan as “a guiding force for good. It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing. In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations”…He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all of us.”

Mr. Annan led the UN into a new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.

Full statement here: https://bit.ly/2L8R86Y

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.