Memorial for fallen staff

On Monday, the Secretary-General attended the annual memorial service in honour of staff who lost their lives while on United Nations duty. “It is a sad reminder of the often perilous nature of our work,” he said.  The Secretary-General added that it was also “testament to the commitment of the thousands of women and men from around the globe who are prepared to risk all to promote peace and provide assistance to some of the world’s most vulnerable and needy people.” This year’s service honoured 115 people from 43 nations who were lost between January 2018 and March this year. “Let us honour their memory by rededicating ourselves to the noble cause of promoting peace, prosperity and opportunity for every woman, man and child on the planet,” the Secretary-General said.

The Secretary-General lights a candle at memorial service to honour fallen staff. UN Photo/Mark Garten 

Remarks: https://bit.ly/2PVHs3E

Secretary-General joins Instagram to give people a first-hand look at his job

On Saturday, the Secretary-General joined Instagram to give people a “first-hand look” at his job as Secretary-General and share what motivates him to “strive for a better, more peaceful world for us all.” Follow the Secretary-General at https://www.instagram.com/antonioguterres/

The Secretary-General in the UN Headquarters in New York: UN Photo / Mark Garten

United Nations Chief Executives Board meeting in Geneva

The Secretary-General attended the spring meeting of the United Nations Chief Executives Board (CEB) in Geneva, hosted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. On Thursday, the CEB issued a joint appeal from the UN System to Member States to step up ambition and take concrete action to limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and adapt to the effects of climate change. The appeal also calls on “Member States to come to New York in September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020 and in support to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.” On Friday, the Secretary-General addressed a special session of the World Trade Organization’s General Council.

Joint Appeal on Climate Action: https://bit.ly/2JbbaAZ

Remarks at the ILO (in French, as delivered): https://bit.ly/2VNvmyU

Remarks at the WTO: https://bit.ly/2Jyoor4

African Union – United Nations annual conference

On Monday, the Secretary-General attended the third annual African Union-UN Annual Conference alongside the Chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat. The Conference, held in New York, aimed to build on the close partnership between the two organizations and addressed, among other issues, climate change and the AU’s theme of 2019, which is: “The year of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons: towards durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa”.

Remarks at press encounter with Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat: https://bit.ly/2DRg9Cw

Security Council debates peacekeeping training and capacity-building

On Tuesday, the Secretary-General addressed the Security Council debate on peacekeeping training and capacity-building and stressed that improving training is a “major shared commitment” of the Action for Peacekeeping initiative. While mentioning “notable progress”, he stressed that much still needs to be done. “Training gaps remain in critical areas such as weapons handling, first aid, human rights and protection issues,” the Secretary-General said while also urging Member States to consider increased funding, in-kind contributions of equipment and the provision of trainers as well as far more nominations of women to take part in training.

Remarks: https://bit.ly/2PQklHC

Launch of UN Countering Terrorist Travel Programme

Also on Tuesday, the Secretary-General spoke at the launch of the UN Countering Terrorist Travel Programme. He said the initiative will help Member States collect, process and share travel data with other competent national and international authorities, with full respect for privacy and fundamental freedoms. The Programme aims to enhance the ability of Member States to effectively detect, prevent, and investigate, as well as prosecute terrorist offences, including those related to travel.

Remarks: https://bit.ly/2vLaWry

Exhibit highlights women in the Second World War 

On Monday, the Secretary-General opened an exhibit on the role of women in the Second World War. “Just as women were indispensable to the war effort some eight decades ago, all their talents and leadership are essential to our current battle to build a new world of peace, prosperity, dignity and opportunity for all on a healthy planet,” he said.

Remarks: https://bit.ly/2DTr2nH

Nature is declining at unprecedented rates, says new report

A report launched on Monday by the Intergovernmental Science‑Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), warned that around 1 million species are threatened with extinction as nature is declining at unprecedented rates. The Secretary-General tweeted he was very alarmed by the report. “To protect all life on our planet, and reverse the trend, we must act now,” he wrote.

Appointments – Sustainable Development Goals Advocates

On Thursday, the Secretary-General appointed new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocates. These 17 influential public figures are committed to raising awareness, inspiring greater ambition, and pushing for faster action on the SDGs, which were adopted by world leaders on 25 September 2015. The Secretary-General tasked them with driving action, ambition and political will.

Announcement and list of SDGs advocates: https://bit.ly/2VoiFuZ

Statement and messages

On Mali: https://bit.ly/2VkjVuo

On Syria: https://bit.ly/2JjnX3D

On the Ebola emergency response in the Democratic Republic of Congo: https://bit.ly/2Hb1J1a

On the Belize-Guatemala border differendum: https://bit.ly/2WywByR

To High-Level Conference on “The Danger of Disinformation – Countering Fake News and Safeguarding Health in the Post-Truth Era”: https://bit.ly/2HebXPt

Next Week

The Secretary-General will travel to the South Pacific to spotlight the issue of climate change ahead of the Climate Action Summit that he is convening in September in New York, visiting New Zealand, Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. In each country, the Secretary-General will meet government leaders, civil society representatives and youth groups. In Fiji, he will also attend the Pacific Island Forum and while in New Zealand, he will meet with Muslim leaders in Christchurch to express his solidarity following the 15 March terrorist attack.