from UN Secretary-General António Guterres

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Dear Friends,

2020 has been a year of trials, tragedies and tears.

COVID-19 upended our lives and plunged the world into suffering and grief.

So many loved ones have been lost — and the pandemic rages on, creating new waves of sickness and death.

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

The 75th anniversary of the United Nations falls in the middle of a global pandemic. Our founding mission is more critical than ever.

To promote human dignity.

Protect human rights.

Respect international law.

And save humanity from war.

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Knotted Gun sculpture at UNHQ in New York. UN Social Media

When the pandemic hit, I called for a global ceasefire.

In our world today, we have one common enemy: COVID-19.

Now is the time for a stepped-up push for peace to achieve a global ceasefire. The clock is ticking.

As the United Nations marks 75 years of helping people everywhere, this year’s General Assembly session will be unlike any other.

Although most of us will not be gathering at the UN’s New York Headquarters this year, this General Assembly — coming at a time of urgent global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic — is perhaps more important than ever before.

Here are some ways you can use your voice on social media to be part of this historic UNGA and show your support for peace, human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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GA Hall 360 Experience: Explore the General Assembly Hall! This 360-video will allow you to travel through history to check out some of the most memorable moments that have played out on one of the world’s most recognizable political stages. Begin your virtual journey on the @UnitedNations Facebook page, starting Sunday 20 September at 6pm EST. …

By United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres

There is more than enough food in the world to feed our population of 7.8 billion people. But, today, more than 820 million people are hungry, and some 144 million children under the age of five are stunted — more than one in five children worldwide.

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People received aid from the World Food Programme (WFP) in Mozambique. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (2019)

Our food systems are failing, and the COVID-19 pandemic is making things worse.

The combined effects of COVID-19 and corresponding mitigation measures, along with the emerging global recession, could disrupt the functioning of food systems. Unless immediate, large-scale, coordinated action is taken, it is increasingly clear that there is an impending global food emergency that could have long-term impacts on hundreds of millions of children and adults at a severity and scale not seen for more than half a century. …

By António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing untold fear and suffering for older people across the world. Beyond its immediate health impact, the pandemic is putting older people at greater risk of poverty, discrimination and isolation, and it is likely to have a particularly devastating impact on older people in developing countries.

As an older person myself, with responsibility for an even older mother, I am deeply concerned about the pandemic on a personal level, and about its effects on our communities and societies. But there is nothing inevitable about its impact. …

By United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres

Gender inequality is the overwhelming injustice of our age and the biggest human rights challenge we face. But gender equality offers solutions to some of the most intractable problems of our age.

Everywhere, women are worse off than men — simply because they are women. The reality for women from minorities, older women, those with disabilities and women migrants and refugees is even worse.

While we have seen enormous progress on women’s rights over recent decades, from the abolition of discriminatory laws to increased numbers of girls in school, we now face a powerful pushback. Legal protections against rape and domestic abuse are being diluted in some countries while policies that penalize women, from austerity to coercive reproduction, are being introduced in others. …

The world takes on one of the most pressing issues of our time — the climate emergency — at COP25 in Madrid, Spain

The following is a guest post by Dan Shepard, UN Communications Officer and Climate Communications Expert

The Climate Conference in Madrid — COP25 — was an important opportunity for the world to develop solutions for addressing the climate emergency. …

Climate action, violent extremism & equality were focus of Secretary-General António Guterres’ recent trip to Kenya and Mozambique

In early July, Secretary-General António Guterres visited Kenya and Mozambique to speak with local people and gain a better understanding of the challenges they’re facing.

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In Nairobi, Kenya, the he met with young people who are receiving training and mentorship to improve their job prospects, and help them to turn their backs on the lure of violent extremism.

The programme is part of larger efforts from the Kamukunji community through which groups from different backgrounds, ages and beliefs come together to close ranks and prevent the rise of violent extremism and radicalization in their communities.

While in Nairobi, the Secretary-General also heard from women activists, who are leading the way in preventing the expansion of violent extremism from within their own communities. …

From New Zealand to Fiji, from Tuvalu to Vanuatu — Secretary-General António Guterres calls for urgent climate action to save Pacific island nations, and the world.

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The Secretary-General looks out over the Pacific Ocean. UN Photo/Mark Garten

“Over the past week, I have witnessed first-hand the impacts of climate change in the Pacific Island States. They contribute very little to the global climate emergency and yet, they are the ones that are being most affected. For some of them, climate change is now an existential threat.

“What is remarkable about these countries is that while facing this enormous challenge, they have decided that they are not giving up. They are determined to find solutions and have developed ways to increase their resilience and adaptation. …

UN Secretary-General António Guterres pays tribute to terror attack victims in Christchurch and expresses solidarity during holy month of Ramadan.

As salam alaikum.

I thank this community very much for their welcome — particularly during this holy month of Ramadan.

Every Ramadan I make a visit of solidarity somewhere around the world. Last year, it was in Mali the year before that, in Afghanistan.

This year, because of the terrible terrorist attack against your community, I wanted to be here with you.

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres arrives at Christchurch Remembrance Wall, UN Photo/Mark Garten

Ramadan is a season of reflection, remembrance and renewal. I am here to express my deepest condolences, my profound respect, and the fullest measure of my solidarity to you, your families and the community.

I know there are no words to relieve the hurt and sorrow and pain. …


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