Yemen: hope for “beginning of the end of one of the biggest tragedies of the 21st century”
On Thursday, the Secretary-General spoke at the closing of the Intra-Yemeni consultations, which took place in Stockholm, Sweden. He stressed that the agreements announced, including on Hodeidah port and city, meant “a lot, not only for the Yemeni people but for humanity, if this can be a starting point for peace and for ending the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.” The Secretary-General noted that the conflict in Yemen had delivered four “devastating years of suffering” for the Yemeni people. “Today, I hope we are seeing the beginning of the end of one of the biggest tragedies of the 21st century – the conflict in Yemen, the worst humanitarian crisis in the world,” he tweeted.
The Secretary-General and the Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, watch handshake between participants of Intra-Yemeni talks held in Stockholm. Image: Swedish Foreign Ministry
The Secretary-General spoke at the Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the Global Compact for Migration in Marrakech, Morocco, and stressed there had been “many falsehoods about the agreement and the overall issue of migration.” He said the Compact rested on two simple ideas. “First, migration has always been with us – but in a world where it is ever more inevitable and necessary, it should be well managed and safe, not irregular and dangerous; second, national policies are far more likely to succeed with international cooperation.” The Secretary-General added that the Compact recognized that “migrants should enjoy human rights, and independently of their status.” He also held a joint press conference with his Special Representative for International Migration, Louise Arbour, and met with youth advocates who shared with him their priorities and concerns on migration. The Secretary-General tweeted he was “energized by their dedication to work together to ensure that migration is a choice.”
Secretary-General meets youth migration advocates in Marrakech. UN Photo/Mark Garten
70th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights
On Monday, in Marrakech, the Secretary-General attended a high-level event to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He said that over seven decades, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights had “inspired millions of women and men to demand their rights, and contest the forces of oppression, exploitation, discrimination and injustice.” The Secretary-General stressed that the “solutions to society’s problems lie in staying bound to our shared commitment to uphold the human rights and the inherent dignity and equality of each human being”, adding that “no one ever loses their human rights, no matter what they do or who they are.”
Group of women look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1950. UN Photo
On Wednesday, the Secretary-General returned to the UN Climate Conference COP24 in Katowice, Poland, with a “dramatic appeal” and stated that the gathering must be “the dawn of a new determination to unleash the promise of the Paris Agreement.” He said, “to waste this opportunity in Katowice would compromise our last best chance to stop runaway climate change” which would not only be “immoral”, but “suicidal”. The Secretary-General stressed: “I do not want my granddaughters or anybody else’s to suffer the consequences of our failures.”
Statements and Messages
On International Anti-Corruption Day: https://bit.ly/2zVfMVS
On 70th Anniversary of Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide/International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of Prevention of This Crime: https://bit.ly/2LhpVjP
On International Universal Health Coverage Day: https://bit.ly/2BjLax5
On Tuesday, in New York, the Secretary-General will attend events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. He will also take part in the UN Human Rights Prize ceremony. On Wednesday, the Secretary-General will deliver remarks at the General Assembly meeting on the Global Compact for Migration.