The UN General Assembly endorses the Global Compact #ForMigration. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize Award Ceremony

On Tuesday, in his remarks to the General Assembly commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Secretary-General said “the clarity and profundity” with which the Declaration “speaks to the aspirations of people everywhere have made it the world’s most widely translated document”, but that the challenge remained to “translate it into reality for all people everywhere.” The Secretary-General also attended the 2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize award ceremony and stressed it was important to “recognize the human rights defenders working to uphold the Declaration and make human rights a reality for all.” The recipients of this year’s prize, given every five years since 1968, were Rebeca Gyumi from Tanzania, an activist for education rights for girls; the late human rights lawyer, Asma Jahangir, from Pakistan; Joênia Batista de Carvalho, Brazil’s first indigenous woman lawyer; and Front Line Defenders from Ireland, working to protect human rights defenders at risk. The Secretary-General also spoke at an event commemorating the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by consensus, twenty years ago. 

The Secretary-General, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the President of the General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés and Under-Secretary-General Catherine Pollard with UN Human Rights Prize recipients. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Remarks on the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Remarks at Human Rights Prize Award Ceremony:

Remarks on Human Rights Defenders:

United Nations General Assembly endorses Global Compact #ForMigration

On Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. In a statement, the Secretary-General stressed that “the Compact is a non-legally binding agreement that reaffirms the foundational principles of our global community, including national sovereignty and universal human rights, while pointing the way toward humane and sensible action to benefit countries of origin, transit and destination as well as migrants themselves.”  He added that “at a time when international cooperation is more important than ever”, the Compact “provides a platform for precisely that.” The Secretary-General also issued a message for International Migrants Day, observed the day before, in which he described migration as a “powerful driver of economic growth, dynamism and understanding”, but noted that when “poorly regulated”, it can “intensify divisions within and between societies, expose people to exploitation and abuse, and undermine faith in government.” The Secretary-General concluded the message stating: “on International Migrants Day, let us take the path provided by the Global Compact: to make migration work for all.”

Statement on the General Assembly adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration:

Message for International Migrants Day:

Statements and Messages

To event marking Arabic Language Day:

On Sri Lanka:

Senior Appointments

Karen Smith of South Africa as Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect:

Maria-Francesca Spatolisano of Italy as Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, Department of Economic and Social Affairs: