Category Archives: Secretary-General message & statement


New York, March 8, 2019 – Gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to global progress on peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. We can only re-establish trust in institutions, rebuild global solidarity and reap the benefits of diverse perspectives by challenging historic injustices and promoting the rights and dignity of all.

In recent decades, we have seen remarkable progress on women’s rights and leadership in some areas. But these gains are far from complete or consistent – and they have already sparked a troubling backlash from an entrenched patriarchy. Read more

UN SG’s Message on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

New York 6 February 2019 – “Female genital mutilation is an abhorrent human rights violation affecting women and girls around the world. It denies them their dignity, endangers their health and causes needless pain and suffering, even death.

Female genital mutilation is rooted in gender inequalities and power imbalances– and it sustains them by limiting opportunities for girls and women to realize their rights and full potential. An estimated 200 million women and girls alive today have been subject to this harmful practice.  And every year, almost 4 million girls are at risk.” Read Further

“We are here to serve…” UN SG to the 72nd Session of the GA


New York, 19 September 2017

[Trilingual, as delivered]

I am here in a spirit of gratitude and humility for the trust you have placed in me to serve the world’s peoples.

“We the peoples”, and the United Nations, face grave challenges.

Our world is in trouble.  People are hurting and angry.  They see insecurity rising, inequality growing, conflict spreading and climate changing. 

The global economy is increasingly integrated, but our sense of global community may be disintegrating.

Societies are fragmented.  Political discourse is polarized.  Trust within and among countries is being driven down by those who demonize and divide.

We are a world in pieces.  We need to be a world at peace.

And I strongly believe that, together, we can build peace.  We can restore trust and create a better world for all.

I will focus today on seven threats and tests that stand in our way.  

For each, the dangers are all too clear.  Yet for each, if we act as truly united nations, we can find answers.

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The Secretary General’s remarks at the opening of the 72nd session of the General Assembly

New York , 12 September 2017 – Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by once again congratulating our new President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajčák.

He and I have had good discussions in recent months about our shared hopes for this session.

I have no doubt the Assembly is in very capable hands. 

His experience, his vision and his wisdom, are recognised by all of us that have the privilege to know him. I also welcome President Lajčák’s choice of theme for the year to come: “Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet”.

I look forward to working together for progress on all our areas of work.

Our world faces serious threats — from the proliferation of nuclear weapons to global terrorism, from climate change to inequality.  

We also face major challenges, from migration to the unintended consequences of technological advances, such as cyber attacks.

People around the world are rightly demanding change and looking for governments and institutions to deliver.  
We all agree that the United Nations must do even more to adapt and deliver.  That is the aim of the reform proposals that this Assembly will consider.  

I look forward to working with you, distinguished delegates, to strengthen our Organization to better support the Member States and to produce better results for the people we serve.

One key change, within and beyond the United Nations, must be to empower the world’s women and girls.

Yesterday, I launched a roadmap for achieving gender parity throughout the United Nations, at all levels.  I appeal to you to put forward women candidates for vacancies.  Parity at the UN will improve performance at the UN. 

Despite today’s conflicts and the grinding daily impact of poverty, I remain convinced that this is far more an era of transformational potential.

May the 72nd session of the General Assembly take bold steps to seize those opportunities as we continue to serve “we the peoples”.

Thank you.

UN Secretary-General message on the occasion of Africa Day

Accra, 24 May, 2014 – Africa is achieving admirable growth, but social and economic inequalities are on the increase. Greater equity presents a common challenge to the continent as a whole and can help foster peace and stability.” 

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

“…we must do more to unleash the full potential of Africa’s agricultural sector, which employs two out of every three Africans.”

Download the full message.

Gender equality & women empowerment: Among UN Secretary General’s top priorities

New York, March 10, 2014 – The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, says “gender equality and [women] empowerment” are among his “top priorities, and they are central to achieving the MDGs and the success of the post-2015 development agenda.
This is contained in his statement at the opening of the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York today, March 10, 2014.  Read the full remarks. 

International Day of Peace 2013: Education for Peace

Accra – This year’s International Day of Peace highlights Education for Peace because “education is vital for fostering global citizenship and building peaceful societies.” says the United Nations Secretary-Genera, Ban Ki-moon, in his message to mark the day.

For her part, the Director General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, in a message, said “Every child in the world should know their rights, and learn their own history and that of others, so as to be able to understand the equal dignity of cultures and draw lessons from the crimes and violence of the past. This vision is the key to tolerant citizenship in a globalized world.  It requires a widespread effort to train teachers and design suitable school curricula…”

UN Sec-Gen’s message for World Humanitarian Day 2013

Every year on August 19th, we mark World Humanitarian Day in honour of aid workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

We commemorate their sacrifice and reaffirm our commitment to the life-saving work that humanitarians carry out around the world, every day, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances where others cannot or do not want to go.

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