Category Archives: Uncategorized

THE DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL — REMARKS FOR THE LAUNCH OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY CAMPAIGN BY PROJECT EVERYONE

Closing remarks by

Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

What an encouraging way to conclude this SDG Summit.

The spoken word, the voice of youth, the commitment of civil society, the power of an active citizenry and the leadership of our governments.

Together they remind us of the boundless potential of humanity to create a better future for all.

Excellencies,

I take away three concrete messages from your discussions these last two days.

First, a welcome and clear renewal of the commitment by leader after leader to implement the 2030 Agenda.

This is absolutely critical to respond to challenges that affect all countries: poverty, gross inequalities, discrimination against women and girls; climate change and a rapidly deteriorating natural environment.

Second, I sensed wide recognition that we are off track to achieve the Goals by 2030 – and real determination to get us back on track.

We heard an impressive range of acceleration actions by governments, the private sector, local authorities, civil society,the philanthropic sector, the scientific community and more.

And whether through the Special Events with key stakeholders or through the numerous activities at the SDG Action Zone,the global movement behind the Goals continues to grow.

Third, the task ahead is clear.

In issuing a global appeal for a decade of action to deliver the Goals by 2030, the Secretary-General noted that we can still achieve the SDGs; that a transformation of society and the economy is required to do so.

As the Secretary-General said, we need global action, local action and people action.

Together with colleagues across the UN Development System, I look forward to working with you all to kickstart the decade of action.

To conclude, I congratulate Heads of State and Government, the President of the General Assembly and all of you who helped make this Summit a success.

Now let’s make it a turning point for people and for planet and deliver a Decade of Action for the SDGs.

Thank you.

THE DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL — REMARKS FOR THE LAUNCH OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY CAMPAIGN BY PROJECT EVERYONE

New York, 25 September 2019

Good evening everyone,

It is fantastic to be here with so many people who care about the Sustainable Development Goals.

And it is really encouraging to see so many already responding to the Secretary-General’s call for a Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs.

Thank you to our young leaders.

Together with your comrades across the world, you are shaping the political agenda; you are changing political calculations; and you are challenging all of us to do more.

And thank you to everyone here this evening who is committed to joining forces for a super year of activism in 2020.

This has been a good week so far, but we are only just beginning.

These past few days have demonstrated that governments remain united behind the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

But what we have also seen and heard, including from governments themselves, is that they simply cannot do it alone.

In some instances, they need a strong push – to be more ambitious, to meet their international obligations; and to leave no one behind.

In other instances, they need to be accompanied – to unlock resources, to overcome obstacles or to operationalize solutions.

Since 2015, we have seen many stakeholders embrace the SDGs. But given the challenges we face, we need to widen the tent and deepen the engagement.

What the Secretary-General is calling for, therefore, is nothing less than an unstoppable global movement to transform our economies and our societies, to deliver a fair globalization.

We are already seeing parts of this movement working hard on climate, on inequality, on the empowerment of women and girls.

But what we need now is a movement that is united for both people and planet.

A movement that narrows the gap between awareness, action and accountability.

A movement that will be with us throughout this make-or-break decade.

I believe that many of you here this evening hold the key to growing this movement.

We need the moral voice of the world’s young people and the power of a united civil society.

We need the engine of sustainable development that only a responsible and progressive private sector can provide.

And we need the influence of an active and well-informed and engaged media and entertainment industry.

So, I encourage you all to go out there with ambition and with urgency.

Go out there also with humility and build a movement that is based on values of diversity, empowerment and most of all, unity.

As you move forward, the United Nations will be with you.

With a revitalized UN Development System, we will help to land this decade of action at the country level, including through our engagement with civil society, business and others.

We will also push for effective coalitions in those areas where global cooperation can add most value – on systemic issues such as food, energy or financing human well-being.

And lastly, we will provide the space, here at the General Assembly, for an annual temperature check on SDG progress.

Each September, we will provide a snapshot of what’s working and what’s not; of where we need more action; and who we need more action from.

So, let’s move forward, together, delivering on a decade of action for the SDGs.

Thank you.

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — OPENING REMARKS TO THE HIGH-LEVEL EVENT ON “10 YEARS OF FINANCIAL INCLUSION; VAST PROGRESS AND CHALLENGES AHEAD”

New York, 25 September 2019

Thank you for being here today to focus on the role of financial inclusion in sustainable development.

I want to particularly thank Her Majesty Queen Maxima, my Special Advocate, for raising the profile of this issue around the world in a way that has been absolutely remarkable. I believe that these ten years have indeed made an enormous difference. I believe that when you started we were in a kind of proto history of financial inclusion and today we are really in a very dynamic movement everywhere.

So, on behalf of the United Nations as a whole, I wanted to thank you very much and to say how proud I am that you have accepted to go on remaining as my Special Advocate.

And I thank the Group of Friends for Financial Inclusion, for their work and for co-hosting today’s event.

Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development depends on adequate financing, based on the global partnership agreed in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

This relies in turn on taking full advantage of the fintech revolution. New financial technologies, institutions and markets have great potential to extend financial inclusion and to facilitate investment.

Since 2011, the proportion of people with access to formal financial services has risen from 50 percent to nearly 70 percent. Some 1.2 billion additional people now have access to savings accounts, credit, payment plans and insurance products. These services can help people and communities to build resilience and to make the most of opportunities.

New financial technologies have also reduced operational costs, enabling governments to reach people with financial services more easily. They can facilitate investment and help small businesses to access credit. And they can help to fight the tax evasion, money-laundering and illicit financial flows that can drain resources from the developing world.

However, despite this enormous progress, some 1.7 billion adults still do not have an account with a financial institution or a mobile money provider. More than half arewomen. Gender equality is a proven driver for ending poverty and building sustainable communities and economies, and so it is particularly negative that more than half ofthose that are deprived of these instruments are women.

The Strategy for Financing the 2030 Agenda that I launched last year sets out ways in which the United Nations can support a fundamental shift to align global economic policies and financial systems with the 2030 Agenda.

Seizing the potential of financial innovations, new technologies and digitalization to provide equitable access to finance is one of its three key objectives.

Beyond the United Nations, I am pleased that the G20, the Gates Foundation and others are prioritizing financial inclusion, and that more than 50 countries have now developed their own national financial inclusion strategies.

Lack of a legal identity is a major bar to financial inclusion for 1.1 billion people. Any solution must include efforts to tackle this.

New technologies can create new risks, disrupt labour markets and contribute to growing inequality. Financial systems and regulatory frameworks must manage these risks without creating new obstacles to achieving the 2030 Agenda.

The Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals is addressing these challenges. Its forthcoming report finds that digitalization is already helping to mobilize funds more quickly and direct them towards sustainable development and I hope these initiatives will continue to complement and support each other, to harness the fintech revolution for sustainable development and promote lives of peace, dignity and prosperity for all.

Your Majesty, I know that with your leadership, with your enthusiasm and with your mobilization capacity this is going to move even more quickly in the next tenyears.

Thank you.

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — REMARKS TO EVENT ON 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

New York, 25 Sept 2019

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

Thirty years ago, nations joined together to make an unprecedented promise to the children of the world.

They pledged not only to proclaim children’s rights, but to uphold them and be accountable for them.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was a landmark achievement.

For the first time, governments explicitly recognized that children have the same human rights as adults – as well as specific additional rights that recognize their special status as dependents.

The Convention recognizes a child’s right to health, medicine and nutrition.

To clean water and sanitation.

To a seat in a classroom – including for children with disabilities, and children in war zones.

The Convention recognizes that children have a right to protection and safety in their homes, neighbourhoods and villages.

They have the right to express their opinions. And the right to be heard.

This Convention is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. We look forward to the day when allUnited Nations Member States give it their full backing.

Its near universal membership has created unprecedented international solidarity around children’s rights.

It reflects a global consensus around the role of families, communities and the state in protecting and nurturingchildren.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

The actions and inactions of governments have a greater impact on children than on any other group in society.

Children are particularly vulnerable to poverty, hunger, poor healthcare and living conditions.

And the more we learn about child development, the clearer it is that the first decade of life is the most important.

A child’s potential can be stunted by poor nutrition before the age of 2.

A child’s life chances may be set by the time she starts school.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child has galvanized action.

More children than ever before are now getting the protection and support they need.

In the past 30 years, deaths of children under 5 have fallen by half – and so has the number of undernourished children.

Rights have become reality for millions of children.

In many places, Governments and civil society are working together to provide support to children in war zones, to end child marriage and to give children and young people a voice in the decisions that affect them.

THE DEPUTY SECRETARY–GENERAL — REMARKS AT EVERY WOMAN EVERY CHILD HIGH-LEVEL EVENT AND RECEPTION:

DELIVERING TOGETHER FOR THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

TO ADVANCE UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE

 

New York, 24 September 2019

Your Excellency Ms. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia,

Ladies and Gentleman,

Dear friends,

I am delighted to be with you today at Every Woman Every Child’s annual reception.

Over the past thirty years, we have made historic progress in improving the health and wellbeing of women and children. Maternal mortality has decreased by 44 per cent, and child mortality has declined by more than half.

However, wide disparities remain.

Tragically, we know the current state of play.

Ninety-nine per cent of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries.

Children in sub-Saharan Africa are 15 times more likely to die before the age of five than children in high-income countries.

And the leading cause of death for 15 to 19-year-olds is complications from pregnancy and childbirth, with the vast majority of these deaths in low- and middle-income countries.

These numbers underscore the imperative of achieving the health targets of the 2030 Agenda if we are to keep our promise to leave no one behind.

At the heart of the response is Universal Health Coverage, , the umbrella that guides our work at the UN. Yesterday’s first-ever High-level Meeting on UHC drove this point home.

Realizing the transformative aim of UHC will require access to Primary Health Care, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, based on the principles of equity, access and quality. A basic package of primary care services alone could prevent more than 3 million deaths among women and children every year.

Indeed, primary health care is the foundation of universal health coverage. This was reaffirmed in the Astana Declaration last October, in pursuit of Healthfor All.

However, its success depends on political commitment and adequate financing.

This will require accelerated action by countries, supported by a wide array of organizations, and leveraged by the SDG 3 Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All and by Every Woman Every Child.

EWEC is a mature model of a partnership for development and a prime example of innovation at work. It brings together the H6, the Global Financing Facility, the Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health in a constructive response to support country priorities and deliver tangible results.

Since the launch of the updated EWEC Global Strategy in 2015, EWEC Partners have mobilized more than 314 commitments from stakeholders, worth more than $40 billion. But we still have a way to go to deliver health for all.

Sustainable development cannot become a reality without the economic, social and environmental contribution of women and adolescent girls. Now is the time for targeted investments that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

As we enter a decade of action for the delivery of the SDGs, let us seize the historic opportunity of this week and build on the momentum of the five high-level meetings to firmly integrate women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and wellbeing at the heart of the 2030 Agenda.

A sustainable future is possible but will only be realized when we improve the health and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents. I count on you to join EWEC on this journey.

Thank you.

UN Summit on Sustainable Development Goals kickstarts ambitious action to deliver for people and the planet

States, businesses and civil society gear up for decisive decade for Agenda 2030

New York, 24 September 2019  

Four years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and with efforts off track for meeting its objectives, world leaders today called for a decade of ambitious action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and announced actions they are taking to advance the agenda.

In the political declaration, “Gearing up for a decade of action and delivery for sustainable development,” unanimously adopted at the opening of the UN Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals, UN Member States pledged to mobilize financing, enhance national implementation and strengthen institutions to achieve the sustainable development objectives by the target date and leave no one behind.

“The 2030 Agenda was a feat of multilateralism, and multilateralism is the only way for us to address complex global challenges faced by present and future generations,” said the President of the UN General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, who convened the summit. “A decade of action and delivery is our opportunity to fulfill the historic promise of the 2030 Agenda and ensure collective, global action and shared responsibility. We must take action – striving together, delivering for all.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in his remarks, urged Member States to live up to their commitments and called on all sectors of society to mobilize for the 2030 Agenda. “We must step up our efforts,” he said. “Now is the time for bold leadership, both individual and collective,” he emphasized, calling for ambitious action by Member States, local authorities, and the private sector, and asking the media, academia and young people to mobilize partnerships and hold leaders to account. “We need to move together, leaving no one behind,” Guterres said.

Leaders from government, business, and civil society are gathering at UN Headquarters for a week of summits and high-level meetings focused on accelerating action on the Sustainable Development Goals. Yesterday leaders announced potentially far-reaching steps to confront climate change, including initiatives to finance and build a new generation of sustainable cities, increase energy efficiency and support sustainable climate-friendly cooling, conserve and restore marine and terrestrial ecosystems, promote regenerative agriculture and the greening of supply chains, help people secure employment, improve health, and promote gender equality.

Actions announced specifically in support of today’s SDG Summit include, among others, Brazil committing to reduce premature mortality caused by non-communicable diseases by one-third by 2030; Finland pledging to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035; the Maldives partnering with Parley for the Oceans, American Express, ABinBev and Adidas to create a nationwide framework to deliver on many of the Goals; Mexico pledging to provide access to the internet for everyone including vulnerable communities; Greece committing to green growth through circular economy; the Netherlands doubling the target number of people who gain access to justice through Dutch support in parts of Africa and the Middle East; companies from 25 countries committing to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 as part of the UN Global Compact’s ‘Business Ambition for 1.5 °C: Our Only Future’ initiative; and Project Everyone’s ‘World’s Largest Lesson’ engaging more than 500,000 students in Nigeria in learning about the Sustainable Development Goals. The full list of more than 100 acceleration actions is available here: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgactions

Countries in 2015 unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the most ambitious undertaking to transform our world to boost prosperity and ensure well-being for all while protecting the environment.  

The Secretary-General’s annual progress report as well as the Global Sustainable Development Report by a group of independent scientists issued in advance of the Summit found that progress made so far is in danger of being reversed through worsening social inequalities and potentially irreversible impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.

With hunger on the rise, greenhouse gas emissions rising, and the world’s most vulnerable bearing the brunt of conflict and inequalities, the two-day SDG Summit is bringing together leaders from governments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations to help generate the ambition and impetus needed to put the world on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

For further information:

SDG Summit: www.un.org/sdgsummit

Political declaration of the SDG Summit: https://undocs.org/en/A/HLPF/2019/l.1

Acceleration Actions registered for the SDG Summit: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgactions

Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E

Global Sustainable Development Report: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/globalsdreport/2019

Annual SDG progress report: www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/progress-report/

UN GA high-level week: www.un.org/en/summits2019

Media Contacts:

UN Department of Global Communications:

Sharon Birch-Jeffrey, birchs@un.org, +1-212-963-0564

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs:

Helen Rosengren, rosengrenh@un.org, +1-212-963-9492

Paul Simon, simonp@un.org, +1-917-367-5027

Ariel Alexovich, alexovich@un.org, +1-917-367-6512

* * *

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — ADDRESS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

New York, 24 September 2019

Mr. President,

Distinguished Heads of State and Government,

Excellencies,

Colleagues and friends,

The United Nations Charter sends a clear message to us all: put people first.

The first words of the Charter — “we the peoples” – are a summons to place people at the centre of our work.

Every day.  Everywhere.

People with anxieties and aspirations.  

People with heartbreaks and hopes.

Above all, people with rights.


Those rights are not a favour to be rewarded or withheld.

They are an endowment for simply being human.

Across the first half of my mandate, I have had the good fortune to meet people around the world – not in gilded meeting rooms, but where they live and work and dream.

And I have listened.  

I have heard families in the South Pacific who fear their lives being swept away by rising seas…

Young refugees in the Middle East yearning for a return to school and home…

Ebola survivors in North Kivu struggling to rebuild their lives…

Women demanding equality and opportunity…

People of all beliefs and traditions who suffer simply because of who they are.

And so many others.  

We are living in a world of disquiet.

A great many people fear getting trampled, thwarted, left out and left behind.

Machines take their jobs.  Traffickers take their dignity.  Demagogues take their rights.  Warlords take their lives.  Fossil fuels take their future.  

And yet people still believe in the spirit and ideas that bring us to this Hall.  

They believe in the United Nations.  

But do they believe in us?  

Do they believe leaders will put people first?

We, the leaders, must deliver for we, the peoples.

Excellencies,

People have a right to live in peace.

One year ago in this room, I spoke of winds of hope despite the chaos and confusion of our world.

Since then, some of those currents continued to move in promising directions.  

Against the expectations of many, elections unfolded peacefully in Madagascar, the Maldives, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to name just a few.

Greece and the Republic of North Macedonia resolved their decades-long name dispute.  

Political dialogue in Sudan and the peace process in the Central African Republic have brought renewed hope.    

And a long-sought step forward has just been taken on the political path out of the tragedy in Syria, and in line with Security Council resolution 2254.  

As I announced yesterday, an agreement has been reached with all parties involved for a credible, balanced, inclusive Syrian-owned and Syrian-led Constitutional Committee.

My Special Envoy just left Damascus after finalizing the last details with the Government and the Opposition.  The United Nations looks forward to convening the Committee in Geneva in the coming weeks.  

Excellencies,

Yet across the global landscape, we see conflicts persisting, terrorism spreading and the risk of a new arms race growing.

Outside interference, often in violation of Security Council resolutions, makes peace processes more difficult.    

And many situations remain unresolved, from Yemen to Libya to Afghanistan and beyond.  

A succession of unilateral actions threatens to torpedo a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

In Venezuela, four million people have fled the country — one of the largest displacements in the world.

Tensions are elevated in South Asia, where differences need to be addressed through dialogue.

We face the alarming possibility of armed conflict in the Gulf, the consequences of which the world cannot afford.  The recent attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities was totally unacceptable.  

In a context where a minor miscalculation can lead to a major confrontation, we must do everything possible to push for reason and restraint.  

I hope for a future in which all the countries of the region can live in a state of mutual respect and cooperation, without interference in the affairs of others – and I hope equally that it will still be possible to preserve the progress on nuclear non-proliferation represented by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.  

Excellencies,

From day one, I have emphasized crisis prevention, mediation and a surge in diplomacy for peace.

Consider the lives we can save by intensifying our investments to sustain peace around the world.

Across some of the most troubled corners of the world, some 100,000 UN peacekeepers protect civilians and promote peace.  

Through the Action for Peacekeeping initiative, we are strengthening our effectiveness and efficiency and renewing partnerships with troop- and police-contributing countries, host countries and regional organizations such as the African Union and the European Union.

I am also proud of our humanitarian workers easing suffering around the world.  Fully half of all international relief aid is channeled through the United Nations – ensuring that millions receive protection, food, medicine, shelter, water and other life-saving assistance.

This year alone, in brutal attacks and other circumstances, we have lost at least 80 peacekeepers, humanitarians and others, all of whom gave their lives trying to better the lives of others.  I honour their service and sacrifice.

Excellencies,

We have bolstered our counter-terrorism architecture and defined new strategies to tackle violent extremism and address root causes while respecting human rights.

And I have put forward a new disarmament agenda to advance global peace.

In the near term, the “New Start” agreement must be extended; we must work to address the heightened threat posed by ballistic missiles; and ensure a successful 2020 Review of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains uncertain.  I fully support the efforts towards a new summit between the President of the United States and the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

And at this time of transition and disfunction in global power relations, there is a new risk looming on the horizon that may not yet be large, but it is real.  

I fear the possibility of a Great Fracture: the world splitting in two, with the two largest economies on earth creating two separate and competing worlds, each with their own dominant currency, trade and financial rules, their own internet and artificial intelligence capacities, and their own zero sum geopolitical and military strategies. 

We must do everything possible to avert the Great Fracture and maintain a universal system – a universal economy with universal respect for international law; a multipolar world with strong multilateral institutions.

Excellencies,

People have a right to security in all its dimensions.  

Every measure to uphold human rights helps deliver sustainable development and peace.

In the 21st century, we must see human rights with a vision that speaks to each and every human being and encompasses all rights.  

Economic.  Social.  Cultural.  Political.  Civil.

It would be a mistake to ignore or diminish economic, social and cultural rights.  

But it would be equally misguided to think that those rights are enough to answer people’s yearnings for freedom.

Human rights are universal and indivisible.  One cannot pick and choose, favouring some while disdaining others.  

People have a right to well-being and dignified standards of life.

With health, housing and food.

Social protection and a sustainable environment.

Education – not only to learn things but to learn how to learn.

And decent jobs, especially for young people.  

These rights permeate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

And they are among our best tools for preventing conflict.

Yet we are not on track.

Inequality is exploding.

Our global economy generates great flows of income, but this prosperity is captured by a small number of elites.

It is a sad fact of our world today that one’s chances of leading a life free of want and in full human dignity still depend more on the circumstances of one’s birth than one’s innate capacities.

Today’s Sustainable Development Goals Summit — and Thursday’s dialogue on financing – are opportunities to ramp up ambition, including by utilizing the promise of technology and innovation as recommended by the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.

Excellencies,

As was emphasized at yesterday’s Climate Action Summit, the climate emergency is a race we are losing – but it is a race we can win if we change our ways now.

Even our language has to adapt: what was once called “climate change” is now truly a “climate crisis” … and what was once called “global warming” has more accurately become “global heating”.

We are seeing unprecedented temperatures, unrelenting storms and undeniable science.  

Ten days ago in the Bahamas, I saw the ruin caused by Hurricane Dorian.

That aftermath is mere prelude to what science tells us is on its way.

But something else is also on its way – solutions.

The world is starting to move – not fast enough but in the right direction — away from fossil fuels and towards the opportunities of the green economy.

The Climate Summit highlighted some of the solutions we need to scale up in order to dramatically reduce emissions, keep temperature rise to 1.5 degrees and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.    

We must build on this momentum.

Excellences,

Les peuples doivent jouir de libertés fondamentales que chaque pays a promis de faire respecter.

Pourtant, nous sommes aujourd’hui à un moment critique, où des droits longuement acquis sont menacés, mis à mal, détournés.

Nous observons une trop grande impunité, y compris pour les violations du droit international humanitaire.

Nous voyons éclore de nouvelles formes d’autoritarisme.

Dans trop d’endroits, la disparition de l’espace civique musèle les voix des citoyens.  

Des défenseurs des droits humains, des militants écologistes et des journalistes sont pris pour cible.

Jour après jour, clic après clic, d’une caméra à l’autre, les systèmes de surveillance étendent leur emprise et empiètent sur la vie privée.

Ces fissures ne sont pas uniquement le signe d’un effondrement des règles régissant le comportement des États et de l’économie.

Elles sont plus profondes. Elles questionnent notre compassion, notre humanité.

À l’heure où l’on compte un nombre sans précédent de réfugiés et de déplacés, où est passée notre solidarité ?

Nous voyons des frontières, et surtout des cœurs, se fermer, des sociétés devenir hostiles aux étrangers.

Nous regardons des familles de réfugiés être déchirées et le droit d’asile être bafoué.

Il nous faut rétablir l’intégrité du régime international de protection des réfugiés et tenir les promesses de partage des responsabilités du Pacte mondial sur les réfugiés.

Nous devons également poursuivre sur la lancée du premier Pacte mondial sur les migrations, dont l’adoption en décembre dernier marque un tournant.

Il faut renforcer la coopération internationale pour une migration régulée et ordonnée et retirer la gestion des mouvements migratoires des mains des passeurs et criminels qui s’enrichissent sur le dos des personnes vulnérables.

Les droits humains de chaque migrant doivent être respectés.

Excellences,

Dans le monde d’aujourd’hui, la peur connaît un triste succès.

L’isolation et la méfiance de l’autre sont utilisées à des fins politiques.

C’est la raison pour laquelle j’ai lancé deux initiatives.

La première : une stratégie à l’échelle du système des Nations Unies pour lutter contre les discours de haine.

La deuxième : un plan d’action pour soutenir la protection des sites religieux et la défense de la liberté de culte.

Toute minorité, ethnique, religieuse ou autre, doit pouvoir jouir pleinement de ses droits fondamentaux.

La cohésion sociale est rarement facile ; des efforts sont essentiels pour que chaque communauté se sente respectée dans son identité et puisse pleinement participer à la société dans son ensemble.

À ceux qui font le choix de l’oppression ou de la division, je dis : la diversité n’est pas une menace, c’est une richesse.

Il est inacceptable qu’au XXIème siècle, des femmes et des hommes soient persécutés à cause de leur croyance, identité ou sexualité.

Nous devons, bien sûr, également garantir les droits des personnes vulnérables et marginalisées.

J’ai lancé cette année la première Stratégie des Nations Unies pour l’inclusion des personnes handicapées.

Enfin, n’oublions pas la forme de discrimination la plus répandue dans le monde, une discrimination qui frappe la moitié de l’humanité : les femmes et les filles.

L’égalité des sexes est fondamentalement une question de pouvoir.

Et le pouvoir reste aux mains des hommes – nous le voyons dans les parlements, les conseils d’administration, et même cette semaine dans les couloirs et salles de réunion des Nations Unies.

Nous devons rompre avec l’immobilisme du passé et penser les droits et la représentation des femmes comme un but commun à l’humanité toute entière.

Je m’y emploie aux Nations Unies. Chaque jour, nous œuvrons pour la parité femmes-hommes, ainsi que l’équilibre régional. Aujourd’hui, nous avons atteint la parité dans mon Conseil de direction et parmi les Coordonnateurs Résidents, c’est-à-dire celles et ceux qui pilotent le travail des Nations Unies dans chaque pays.

Excelencias,

No pararé en mi empeño hasta que hayamos alcanzado la paridad de género a todos los niveles de las Naciones Unidas, y la plena igualdad para las mujeres y las niñas en todo el mundo.

Eso implica seguir oponiendo resistencia a los que resisten a los derechos de las mujeres.

Implica también denunciar un inquietante aspecto común a los atentados terroristas, las ideologías extremistas y los crímenes brutales: la violenta misoginia de los perpetradores.  

E implica además intensificar nuestros esfuerzos para ampliar las oportunidades.  

Según las tendencias actuales, se necesitarán dos siglos para cerrar la brecha en materia de empoderamiento económico.  

No podemos aceptar un mundo que dice a mis nietas que la igualdad debe esperar a las nietas de sus nietas.

Excellencies,

As we continue all this vital work and more, I have launched ambitious reforms to make the United Nations more effective.  I count on you to place our organization on sound financial footing.

In an ever more divided world, we need a strong United Nations.  

Next year we will mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations — a critical moment to renew our common project.

The problems we face are real.

But so is hope.

As we strive to serve people, we can be inspired by people.

Over the past two and a half years, I have spent time with young African girls learning to code…

With teachers equipping young people new skills for the future…

And with entrepreneurs in many fields leading the world, innovation by innovation, into the green economy.

They and so many others are helping to build the future we want.

Their aspirations and human rights must always be our touchstone.

We are here to serve.

We are here to advance the common good while upholding our shared humanity and values.

That vision united the founders of our Organization.

At a time of division today, we must re-connect with that spirit.

Let us restore trust, rebuild hope and move ahead, together.

Thank you.

Summit delivers major step up in national ambition and private sector action on pathway to key 2020 climate deadline

As recognition mounts that time is running out, youth leaders warn: ‘we will be watching’

 

New York, 23 September

Major announcements by government and private sector leaders at the United Nations Climate Action Summit boosted climate action momentum, and demonstrated growing recognition that the pace of climate action must be rapidly accelerated.

77 countries committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, while 70 countries announced they will either boost their national action plans by 2020 or have started the process of doing so.

Over 100 business leaders delivered concrete actions to align with the Paris Agreement targets, and speed up the transition from the grey to green economy, including asset-owners holding over $2 trillion in assets and leading companies with combined value also over $2 trillion.

Many countries and over 100 cities – including many of the world’s largest – announced significant and concrete new steps to combat the climate crisis.

Many smaller countries, including Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries, were among those who made the biggest pledges, despite the fact the they have contributed the least to the problem.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in closing the Summit, said “You have delivered a boost in momentum, cooperation and ambition. But we have a long way to go.”

“We need more concrete plans, more ambition from more countries and more businesses. We need all financial institutions, public and private, to choose, once and for all, the green economy.”

Youth leaders including Greta Thunberg drove home the urgency of greater action by leaders, and their determination to hold leaders to account.

Among the major announcements today:

  • France announced that it would not enter into any trade agreement with countries that have policies counter to the Paris Agreement.
  • Germany committed to carbon neutrality by 2050
  • 12 countries today made financial commitments to the Green Climate Fund, the official financial mechanism to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change. This is in addition to recent announcements from Norway, Germany, France and the United Kingdom who have recently doubled their present contributions.
  • The United Kingdom today made a major additional contribution, doubling its overall international climate finance to L11.6 billion for the period from 2020 to 2025
  • India pledged to increase renewable energy capacity to 175gw by 2022 and committed to further increasing to 450GW, and announced that 80 countries have joined the International Solar Alliance.
  • China said it would cut emissions by over 12 billion tons annually, and would pursue a path of high quality growth and low carbon development.
  • The European Union announced at least 25% of the next EU budget will be devoted to climate-related activities.
  • The Russian Federation announced that they will ratify the Paris Agreement, bringing the total number of countries that have joined the Agreement to 187.
  • Pakistan said it would plant more than 10 billion trees over the next five years.

On unprecedented levels of private sector action:

  • A group of the world’s largest asset-owners — responsible for directing more than $2 trillion in investments — committed to move to carbon-neutral investment portfolios by 2050.
  • 87 major companies with a combined market capitalization of over US$ 2.3 trillion pledged to reduce emissions and align their businesses with what scientists say is needed to limit the worst impacts of climate change—a 1.5°C future.
  • 130 banks – one-third of the global banking sector – signed up to align their businesses with the Paris agreement goals

On transitioning from brown to green energy:

  • Michael Bloomberg will increase the funding and geographic spread of his coal phase out efforts to 30 countries. Already, his work has helped to close 297 out of 530 coal plants in the US.
  • Countries, including France and New Zealand, announced that they will not allow oil or gas exploration on their lands or off-shore waters.
  • Heads of State from Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and Slovakia, are among those that announced that they will work to phase out coal. The Republic of Korea announced it would shut down four coal-fired power plants, and six more will be closed by 2022, as well as the doubling of its contribution to the Green Climate Fund.
  • The Summit also delivered critical platforms for improving energy efficiency and reducing the growing energy needs for cooling, with the “Three Percent Club” coalition working to drive a three percent annual global increase in energy efficiency and the Cool Coalition setting ambitious national cooling targets for its members with the potential to deliver up to 1 degree on the pathway to a 2050 net zero carbon world.

On scaling up financing and unlocking barriers to funds:

  • Many countries announced new contributions to the Green Climate Fund, the official financial mechanism to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change, with several countries, including France, Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom, announcing that they would double their present contributions.
  • Further, the Climate Investment Platform was officially announced today. It will seek to directly mobilize US$ 1 trillion in clean energy investment by 2025 in 20 Least Developed Countries in its first year.
  • Summit initiatives were designed to ensure the actions undertaken would be fair for all, supporting jobs and clear air for better health, and protect the most vulnerable, as well as new initiatives on adaptation, agriculture and early warning systems that will protect 500 million additional people against the impacts of climate change.

New initiatives announced today have been designed to be scaled up to deliver impact at the global scale needed. The Secretary-General urged governments, businesses and people everywhere to join the initiatives announced at the Summit, and promised to “keep pushing” for greater ambition and action. The Secretary-General committed the UN system to support implementation of plans presented at the Summit, with an initial report to be delivered at COP25 in Santiago, Chile.

A full list of the announcements and commitments made at the Climate Summit can be found atwww.un.org/climatechange

For further information, please contact:

Dan Shepard, UN Department of Global Communications, tel: 1 212 963 9495, cell: 1 646 675 3286, email: shepard@un.org

Matthew Coghlan, Climate Action Summit Team, email: matthew.coghlan@un.org

THE DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL — REMARKS AT EVENT ON “MENTAL HEALTH FOR ALL”

New York, 23 September 2019

Excellencies,
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to join you in drawing attention to one of the most neglected areas of global health and people’s well-being.

Mental health concerns us all. Almost all of us have either personally, or through supporting others, been affected by a mental health condition.

We know that one in four people will be affected by a mental condition at some point in their lives.

Tragically, every 40 seconds, a person dies of suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15 to 29 year olds.

We must now bring this major health challenge into the open. We dishonor people through invisibility. And we unjustifiably cap their potential. Mental Health accounts for more than $1 trillion per year in economic losses.

These dramatic and unnecessary losses are not surprising because mental health cuts across all the Sustainable Development Goals. It is closely linked to education, employment, economic growth, climate change and conflict.

Yet Governments spend less than 1 per cent of health budgets on mental health; and less than 1 per cent of international aid for global health is allocated to mental health.
This lack of investment means that 80 per cent of people living with mental health conditions are unable to access or receive mental health care, especially in lower and middle-income countries and neighborhoods, and those affected by humanitarian crises.

Even in the wealthiest nations, mental health services are marginalized and under-resourced.

Too often today, recognizing mental health is still considered taboo; individuals with a mental health diagnosis are stigmatized, and are scared to seek help. This is debilitating and simply unacceptable.

Put simply, there is no health without mental health.

I am inspired to see civil society speaking up and forming coalitions to reduce stigma and to fight for the right to treatment.

The United Nations itself is part of this movement.

Mental health matters, both in the UN’s work around the world, and for our staff.

Last year, the Secretary-General launched the UN System Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, which aims to enhance staff mental health and wellbeing, and build a supportive and stigma-free workplace culture.

And the World Health Organization recently launched a five-year Special Initiative for Mental Health as part of our work to achieve universal health coverage.

It is time to speak openly about what has too long been hidden, downplayed and sometimes even belittled.

It is time, and it is possible, to deliver mental health for all.

Universal health coverage means the right to physical and mental health.

As countries move along the path towards universal health coverage, mental health must be fully integrated.

We need leaders to put mental health high on the global policy agenda, and to address the insignificant levels of investment in national health budgets.

This event takes place following the first ever High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage. This is our chance to ensure that mental health figures prominently.

We must now translate the Declaration’s commitments into widespread action.

We are ready to do this in partnership with you.

Thank you.

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — REMARKS AT 2019 CLIMATE ACTION SUMMIT

New York, 23 September 2019

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Nature is angry.

And we fool ourselves if we think we can fool nature.

Because nature always strikes back.

And around the world, nature is striking back with fury.

Consider the last few months.

July — the hottest month ever.

June through August — the hottest summer in the Northern hemisphere ever;

and the second hottest winter in the Southern hemisphere ever.

The years 2015 to 2019 — the five hottest years on the books ever.

Our warming earth is issuing a chilling cry: Stop.

If we don’t urgently change our ways of life, we jeopardize life itself.

Look around.

Seas are rising and oceans are acidifying.

Glaciers are melting and corals are bleaching.

Droughts are spreading and wildfires are burning.

Deserts are expanding and access to water is dwindling.

Heatwaves are scorching and natural disasters are multiplying.

Storms everywhere are more intense. More frequent. More deadly.

I have seen it with my own eyes – from Dominica to the Sahel to the South Pacific.

In May, I went to the island nation of Tuvalu where I witnessed an entire country fighting for its very existence against the rising seas.

Two months ago, I visited Mozambique which was pummelled by unprecedented back-to-back cyclones.

A few days ago, I was in the Bahamas, where Hurricane Dorian pounded the country for two unrelenting days.

The destruction was not simply appalling. It was apocalyptic.

Make no mistake, when we see those images, we are not just seeing damage.

We are seeing the future — if we do not act now.

Dear friends,

Someone asked me the other day, doesn’t all of this make you despair?

My answer was a clear and resounding no.

I am hopeful.

And I am hopeful because of you.

This is not a climate talk summit. We have had enough talk.

This is not a climate negotiation summit because we don’t negotiate with nature.

This is a climate action summit.

From the beginning, I said the ticket to entry is not a beautiful speech, but concrete action.

And you are here with commitments.

Governments are here to show you are serious about enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement.

Cities and businesses are here showing what leadership looks like, investing in a green future.

Financial actors are here to scale-up action and deploy resources in fundamentally new and meaningful ways.

And coalitions are here with partnerships and initiatives to move us closer to a resilient, carbon-neutral world by 2050.

I am very grateful to the leaders and members of the 9 wide-ranging coalitions that worked with great creativity and passion so that we can all get the most out of this Summit.

And young people – above all, young people – are here providing solutions, insisting on accountability, demanding urgent action.

They are right.

My generation has failed in its responsibility to protect our planet. That must change.

The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win.

The climate crisis is caused by us – and the solutions must come from us.

We have the tools: technology is on our side.

Readily-available technological substitutions already exist for more than 70 per cent of today’s emissions.

And we have the roadmap: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

And we have the imperative: undeniable, irrefutable science.

The best science, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, tells us that any temperature rise above 1.5 degrees will lead to major and irreversible damage to the ecosystems that support us.

But science also tells us it is not too late. We can do it. Limiting warming to 1.5 ºC is still possible.

But it will require fundamental transformations in all aspects of society—

how we grow food, use land, fuel our transport and power our economies.

We need to link climate change to a new model of development – a fair globalization – with less suffering, more justice and harmony between people and planet.

Dear friends,

There is a cost to everything.

But the biggest cost is doing nothing.

The biggest cost is subsidizing a dying fossil fuel industry, building more and more coal power plants, and denying what is plain as day.

That we are in a deep climate hole and to get out, we must first stop digging.

After all, is it common sense to give trillions in hard-earned taxpayers’ money to the fossil fuel industry to boost hurricanes, spread tropical diseases, and heightenconflict?

Is it common sense to build ever more coal plants that are choking our future?

Is it common sense to reward pollution that kills millions with dirty air and makes it dangerous for people in cities around the world to sometimes even venture out oftheir homes?

It is time to shift taxes from salaries to carbon, and to tax pollution, not people