Our Perspective

      • THE UN 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

      • International Day of Peace

        21 Sep 2014

        2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace. This declaration recognizes that “the maintenance of a peaceful life for peoples is the sacred duty of each State”. The people of Timor-Leste know first-hand how vital peace is to their individual and community well-being, and how far Timor-Leste has come in restoring peace since the 2006 crisis. Indeed, the country has embarked on a long-term process of rebuilding its social fabric, developing State institutions and transforming its international image. The UN has and continues to support Timor-Leste in this transition. Working together, the UN, the government and civil society are strengthening national capacities to ensure that peace and development are sustained. This includes consolidating and further strengthening capacities within the Government of Timor-Leste. For instance, the Ministry of Social Solidarity is receiving support to maintain and deepen resilience and social cohesion across the country. Another example is joint UN-civil society support to enhance the collective efforts of government, under the leadership of the Secretary of State for Security, to deepen women’s engagement in peacebuilding through the development of a National Action Plan on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000). ThisRead 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