Climate action and sustainable development focus at G20 Summit
On Friday, the Secretary-General issued an appeal to leaders at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan for stepped up action to address the climate crisis and implement the 2030 Agenda, two issues on which “we are lagging behind.” In a press conference, the Secretary-General called on leaders for a “much stronger engagement for an enhanced commitment” to take on these two leading global challenges.
“Young people must be able to participate in the decisions that affect their lives”
On Sunday, in Lisbon, the Secretary-General spoke at the World Conference for Ministers Responsible for Youth and stressed the need to “create an enabling environment for young people, where they are seen not as subjects to be protected, but as citizens with equal rights, equal voices and equal influence, as full members of our societies, and powerful agents for change.” He also thanked young people for their leadership. “From climate action to plastic pollution, from the clean energy revolution to gender equality, the young generation is stepping up to the challenge,” the Secretary-General added. He also called for youth participation in commemorating the 75th anniversary of the United Nations next year. “Your voices as global citizens, as owners of the future are critical for our discussion during the 75th anniversary”, he said.
Combatting anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred in the digital age
On Wednesday, the Secretary-General spoke at an informal meeting of the General Assembly on “Combatting anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Racism and Hate – The Challenges of Teaching Tolerance and Respect in the Digital Age”. He said that anti-Semitism was far from being extinguished and that in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, attacks on synagogues, graveyards and individuals continue to make many Jews feel unsafe. He stressed that intolerance was also being directed at other faiths, as well as migrants and refugees, with social media accelerating the spread of bigotry. He mentioned the recently launched UN strategy to combat hate speech and the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation as examples of the UN combating intolerance online and offline. “I guarantee you that I will continue to call out anti-Semitism, racism and all forms of hatred — loudly and unapologetically,” he said.
A wildfire of hate speech
In an op-ed article, the Secretary-General warned about a global wave of intolerance and hate-based violence targeting worshippers of many faiths, as well as minorities, migrants, refugees, women and any so-called “other”. Mentioning new UN efforts to combat hate speech and protect religious sites, he underscored that “We must never forget, after all, that each of us is an ‘other’ to someone, somewhere. There can be no illusion of safety when hate is widespread”. “As part of one humanity, it is our duty to look after each other”, he said.
Launch of the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism
On Tuesday, the Secretary-General attended the launch of the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism and said that “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations remains a global and transnational challenge.” He emphasized that “combatting terrorism requires all of us to work together through the prism of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy to address the threat of terrorism and violent extremism in a comprehensive and balanced manner”. The Secretary-General stressed the need to ensure equal implementation of all pillars of the Strategy, including the pillar “to protect and promote human rights, which includes the rights of victims and their needs.”
Meeting with chairs of the human rights treaty bodies
On Tuesday, the Secretary-General met with the ten Chairs of the human rights treaty bodies, who were in New York for their annual meeting. Noting the importance of their work, the Secretary-General said it is crucial for human rights and for victims around the world that the Committees receive the necessary support and resources to fulfil their mandates.
UNRWA Pledging Conference
On Tuesday, the Secretary-General attended the annual pledging conference for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. “Given what is at stake at the human level, at the political and security level, and at the multilateral level, we must rise to the challenge and empower UNRWA to continue its important and impressive work”, he said. The Secretary-General also reiterated the importance of “continuing to pursue peace efforts to realize the vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.”
Statement and messages
On International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking: https://bit.ly/2ZW9Bvb
On International Day in Support of Victims of Torture: https://bit.ly/2IUn1SU
On International Widows Day: https://bit.ly/2IS753e
On Ethiopia: https://bit.ly/2x9L21g
For Social Business Day (video): https://bit.ly/2JcDjoS
Mr. François Grignon of France as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Protection and Operations ad interim, United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO): https://bit.ly/31XauoV
Mr. David McLachlan-Karr of Australia as Deputy Special Representative ad interim, United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator: https://bit.ly/2Njc4hV
Mr. David Gressly of the United States of America as United Nations Emergency Ebola Response Coordinator (EERC): https://bit.ly/2YhjanX
On Sunday, the Secretary-General will attend the Climate Preparatory Meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which seeks to galvanize momentum ahead of the Climate Action Summit that the Secretary-General is convening in September in New York.