Our Perspective

      • THE SECRETARY-GENERAL -- MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

        21 Sep 2014

        Today is the International Day of Peace. Each year, on this day, the United Nations calls for a global ceasefire.  We ask combatants to put down their arms so all can breathe the air of peace. Armed conflict causes untold grief to families, communities and entire countries. Too many are suffering today at the brutal hands of warmongers and terrorists. Let us stand with them in solidarity. Peace and security are essential foundations for social progress and sustainable development. That is why, three decades ago, the United Nations affirmed the right of peoples to peace. Throughout the coming year, we will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. Our organisation is founded on the pledge to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. We have made much progress. But much remains to be done. We must douse the fires of extremism and tackle the root causes of conflict. Peace is a long road that we must travel together – step by step, beginning today. Let us all observe a minute of silence, at noon. Let us all reflect on peace – and what it means for our human family. Let us hold it in our hearts and minds andRead More

      • THE SECRETARY-GENERAL MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DEMOCRACY

        15 Sep 2014

        As we observe this year’s International Day of Democracy, the world seems more turbulent than ever. In many regions and in many ways, the values of the United Nations, including some of the most fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the UN Charter, are being tested and challenged. Recent outbreaks of violence reinforce a truth we have seen time and again: that where societies are not inclusive, and where governments are not responsive and accountable, peace, equality and shared prosperity cannot take hold. We need to do more to empower individuals, focusing on the billions of people who are underprivileged, marginalized, jobless, hopeless and understandably frustrated. We need to ensure they are heard and can take an active part in their future. That is why my message today goes out to those who will be at the forefront of the world beyond 2015, and who by nature are at a turning point in their own lives: young people. One person out of five today is between the ages of 15 and 24. Never before has the transition from youth to adulthood been so weighed by challenges, yet so blessed by opportunities. You have powers to network that would have been unimaginableRead More

      • THE SECRETARY GENERAL MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF CHARITY

        05 Sep 2014

        Charity plays a significant role in the work of the United Nations and its agencies. Charity may come in many forms, from the volunteering of time and expertise to straightforward financial or in-kind donations by individuals, corporations or philanthropic foundations.  Whatever the case, such generosity and kindness, with no expectation of financial gain, can make profound differences in human well-being. At times of intense fiscal and budgetary constraint, charity takes on greater importance in global efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and implement what we hope will be an ambitious post-2015 agenda. While charity cannot be seen as a replacement or alternative to public spending, it plays an invaluable complementary role. I welcome this second observance of the International Day of Charity, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly at the initiative of the Permanent Mission of Hungary, to coincide with the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa, whose life and good works for some of the human family’s poorest and most vulnerable members has been such an enormous inspiration. Let us recognize charity for what it is at heart: a noble enterprise aimed at bettering the human condition. On this International Day, I call on people everywhere toRead More