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Haiti: UN determined to support authorities in strengthening rule of law

Ms. Keita, who took up her post last September, traveled to Haiti from 5 to 9 February to support the efforts of the new UN Mission for the Support of Justice in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), to discuss the Mission’s mandate with the Haitian Government and other partners, and to ensure that human rights are at the heart of the country’s sustainable development agenda.

Established in October 2017, MINUJUSTH succeeded a previous UN peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSTAH, with a smaller mandate from the Security Council, focused on helping the Haitian Government strengthen its rule-of-law institutions.

In an interview with UN News, Ms. Keita said that the Security Council has given the Mission a brief two-year timeframe, starting in April 2018, to help Haiti overcome “systemic problems” and “to ensure that fundamental progress is taking place in the justice sector, the judiciary, security and human rights.” She added that all interlocutors in Haiti agreed that the judiciary was the weakest of the three branches of Government.

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UN chief issues 'red alert,' urges world to come together in 2018 to tackle pressing challenges

In his message on the New Year, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is called for unity among the global community to tackle overwhelming challenges and defend values shared by all.

“On New Year's Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert – a red alert for our world,”

said the Secretary-General.“As we begin 2018, I call for unity. […] We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values.But we can only do that together,” he expressed. Recalling that last year he urged that 2017 be a year for peace, the UN chief noted that unfortunately – in fundamental ways, the world went in reverse.Perils, including deepening conflicts and new dangers emerged, and global concerns over nuclear weapons reached the highest since the Cold War, he added.

At the same time, impacts of climate change worsened at an alarming rate, inequalities grew and there were horrific violations of human rights.“Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise,” said Mr. Guterres.Underscoring his belief that the world can be made more safe and secure, conflicts can be settled, hatred can be overcome and shared values defended, he emphasized that unity is indispensable to achieving these goals.“Unity is the path.

Our future depends on it,” said the Secretary-General, urging leaders everywhere to resolve in the New Year to: “Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals.”

[ originally posted on UN News Centre ] 


 Full text of the message

Dear friends around the world, Happy New Year.

When I took office one year ago, I appealed for 2017 to be a year for peace.

Unfortunately – in fundamental ways, the world has gone in reverse.

On New Year’s Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert -- a red alert for our world. Conflicts have deepened and new dangers have emerged. Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War.

Climate change is moving faster than we are. Inequalities are growing. We see horrific violations of human rights. Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise.

As we begin 2018, I call for unity. I truly believe we can make our world more safe and secure. We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values. But we can only do that together.

I urge leaders everywhere to make this New Year’s resolution: Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals.

Unity is the path. Our future depends on it.

I wish you peace and health in 2018.

Thank you. Shokran. Xie Xie. Merci. Spasiba. Gracias. Obrigado.

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UN Secretary-General condemns DPR Korea's underground nuclear test

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned today's underground nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) as “yet another serious breach of the country's international obligations.”

According to a statement issued by a UN spokesperson, the Secretary-General also said that DPRK's action undermined international non-proliferation and disarmament efforts and is also profoundly destabilizing for regional security.

“The Secretary-General reiterates his call on the DPRK leadership to cease such acts and to comply fully with its international obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions,” the statement said, noting that Mr. Guterres remains in contact with all parties concerned.

Also today, the head of the UN atomic agency has said that the nuclear test is “an extremely regrettable act.”

“This new test, which follows the two tests last year and is the sixth since 2006, is in complete disregard of the repeated demands of the international community,” said Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in a statement.

[ read the full story ]


 

 

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Haiti has chance to solidify stability before UN mission’s drawdown, Security Council told

18 July 2017 – With three months left before the current United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti transitions to a smaller one, a UN envoy stressed today that the Caribbean country faces the “window of opportunity” to solidify stability, following recent elections.

“Haiti has remained on the path of stabilization and democratic consolidation,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Sandra Honoré, told the UN Security Council today.

“Looking ahead, for the country to make full use of the window of opportunity that emerged following the electoral process, additional measures will be needed to consolidate the security and stabilization gains of the past few years, create greater social and political cohesion and truly reinforce State institutions so that they can meet the needs of the Haitian people,” the Special Representative added.

Ms. Honoré noted that political space has opened up for the new Government to start addressing the many challenges facing the country, using this unique opportunity to tackle the root causes of instability, poverty, exclusion and impunity.

“Since then, initial steps aimed at overcoming longstanding problems in the areas of governance, rule of law and socio-economic development have been taken,” she said.

Those steps include a flagship development programme, the “caravan of change” in five of Haiti’s 10 departments, and the launch of legislative review to improve the investment climate, reinforce governance structures and restore State institutions.

However, it is “troubling” that the third branch of power – the judiciary – has not been brought to full functioning, she said, urging that key positions must be filled without further delay.

[testimonial author="Sandra Honore" Title="Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)" avatar="../images/2017/honoreicon.png" icon="icon"] “Ultimately, Haiti’s security, political, social and development agenda can only be shaped by the national authorities and the Haitian people themselves;" [/testimonial]

The senior UN official also repeated her calls to modernize the penal system: “Without a properly functioning justice system, the Haitian National Police cannot effectively deliver security for all Haitian citizens and the domestic and international investments in the national police force will not develop to their full potential.”


She underscored the vital importance of inclusive national dialogue to forge a common vision for progress and articulate an institutional reform agenda.

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UN Security Council sees hope for reform after Haiti visit.

30 June 2017 – Haiti has a window of opportunity to implement reforms necessary to bring the Caribbean country onto a path of stability and development, the United Nations Security Council President said today.

Recounting the Council’s recent visit to Haiti, Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorentty Soliz of Bolivia, which holds the presidency for the month of June, pointed to opportunities to cement positive change in the country.

“Haiti is at political crossroads. The window of opportunity is open to promote the reforms the country needs to respond to challenges,” he said. These include strengthening the rule of law, reforming the security sector, providing basic services, and creating jobs.

Mr. Llorentty led the Security Council mission to Haiti from 22 to 24 June, to get a first-hand look at how the UN could best contribute to stability and development in the country.

[ read the full story ]


Quick look at MINUSTAH

 HaitiFactsheet

  Learn more about the UN and its Work in Haiti

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Youth around the world speak up for a world free of nuclear weapons

  • 30 June 2017 |
  • Published in Youth
Around 100 young people from 54 countries are raising their voices and harnessing social media to help mobilize support for a world free of nuclear weapons, and advance the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Youth are among the 1,000 participants at this week’s Science and Technology 2017 Conference, held in Vienna, Austria, which provides a forum for scientists around the world to exchange knowledge and share advances in monitoring and verification technologies of relevance to the CTBT, which prohibits nuclear explosions anywhere in the world.
The young people listened to presentations from scientists around the world specializing in technologies for detecting nuclear events and committed to using social media and blogs to encourage others to push for the Treaty's entry into force.

For the CTBT, adopted by the General Assembly in September 1996, to enter into force, ratification is required from the so-called Annex II countries. Of these, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the US have yet to ratify.

[ read the full story ]


 More stories:

    Caribbean region becomes free of highly enriched uranium

 October 2015 – The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today announced that Jamaica completed the conversion of its research reactor to low enriched uranium this month, decreasing proliferation risks and making the   Caribbean region completely free of highly enriched uranium. 

 

 

 

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Youth around the world speak up for a world free of nuclear weapons

  • 30 June 2017 |
  • Published in Youth
Around 100 young people from 54 countries are raising their voices and harnessing social media to help mobilize support for a world free of nuclear weapons, and advance the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Youth are among the 1,000 participants at this week’s Science and Technology 2017 Conference, held in Vienna, Austria, which provides a forum for scientists around the world to exchange knowledge and share advances in monitoring and verification technologies of relevance to the CTBT, which prohibits nuclear explosions anywhere in the world.
The young people listened to presentations from scientists around the world specializing in technologies for detecting nuclear events and committed to using social media and blogs to encourage others to push for the Treaty's entry into force.

For the CTBT, adopted by the General Assembly in September 1996, to enter into force, ratification is required from the so-called Annex II countries. Of these, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the US have yet to ratify.

[ read the full story ]


 More stories:

    Caribbean region becomes free of highly enriched uranium

 October 2015 – The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today announced that Jamaica completed the conversion of its research reactor to low enriched uranium this month, decreasing proliferation risks and making the   Caribbean region completely free of highly enriched uranium. 

 

 

 

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UN in Colombia strongly condemns bombing

United Nations entities based in Colombia have strongly condemned Saturday's terrorist attack at a shopping centre in the capital, Bogota, and underscored that they “remain determined” to support the country and its peace process.

“The UN in Colombia regrets and repudiates this act of violence and reiterates that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes a threat to peace and security,” read a statement (in Spanish) issued by the UN Country Team over the weekend.

[testimonial author="UN System in Colombia"  title="United Nations" avatar="../images/2017/onu-logo-2SM.jp"  icon="icon" ]

We remain determined to continue to support Colombians and their government in their efforts to build sustainable and lasting peace in the country”

[/testimonial]

At least three people (one French citizen and two Colombians) were killed and another nine wounded in the terrorist attack that struck the Andino shopping centre, located in Bogota's Chapinero district.

The blast occurred at around 5 pm local time (GMT -5:00) on a busy Saturday, with many people shopping for Father's Day, the next day.
In the UNCT statement, the agencies also expressed their condolences to the families of the victims as well as to the people and Government of Colombia and of France and wished for a speedy recovery of those injured.

(originally posted on UN News Centre)

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Malala designated youngest-ever UN Messenger of Peace

  • 11 April 2017 |
  • Published in Youth

10 April 2017 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today designated children’s rights activist and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai as a UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girls’ education.

“You have been to the most difficult places […] visited several refugee camps. Your foundation has schools in Lebanon, in the Beka’a Valley,” said Mr. Guterres at a ceremony in the Trusteeship Council chamber at UN Headquarters, in New York.

“[You are a] symbol of perhaps the most important thing in the world, education for all,” he highlighted.

Ms. Yousafzai, who was shot in 2012 by the Taliban for attending classes, is the youngest-ever UN Messenger of Peace and the first one to be designated by Secretary-General Guterres since he assumed office in January this year.

Accepting the accolade, Ms. Yousafzai underscored the importance of education, especially education of girls, for advancing communities and societies.

“[Bringing change] starts with us and it should start now,” she said, adding: “If you want to see your future bright, you have to start working now [and] not wait for anyone else.”

UN Messengers of Peace are distinguished individuals, carefully selected from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life, who have agreed to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the global Organization.

Backed by the highest honour bestowed by the Secretary-General on a global citizen, these prominent personalities volunteer their time, talent and passion to raise awareness of UN’s efforts to improve the lives of billions of people everywhere.

 

If you speak out, you can help people – UN Messenger of Peace Malala Following the official presentation, Secretary-General Guterres and Ms. Yousafzai conversed with youth representatives from around the world on the theme of girls’ education. Taking a question from a 10 4 17malalayoung speaker in the audience, Ms. Yousafzai said the most difficult time she faced had been from 2007 to 2009 in the Swat Valley, “because we were at a point of making a decision about whether to speak out or remain silent. And I realized that if you remain silent, you are still going to be terrorized. So speaking out, you can help people.” While recovering from the Taliban attack, she realized that “extremists tried everything to stop me [and the fact that they didn’t] is clear evidence that no one can stop me. I have second life for the purpose of [pressing for] education and I’ll continue working on [this issue].

 

Ms. Yousafazi went on to say that brothers and fathers must also support women and girls in the global effort to ensure education for all and, more importantly, to “be who they want to be.” Indeed, she said that her father always told people not to ask him what he did for Malala, ‘but ask what I didn’t do – I didn’t clip her wings.’

 

Summing up the conversation, Mr. Guterrers called Ms. Yousafzai’s life “a remarkable example of solidarity.” Yet, he said, Pakistan is also such an example. “We live in a world where so many borders are closed; so many doors are closed, but Pakistan has received seven million refugees with open borders, open doors and hearts – a symbol of generosity.”

 

He hoped this spirit could serve as an example that “it is not by closing doors that we will all be able to move forward.”
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nuclear weapons ‘fundamentally incompatible’ with world's aspiration for peace

27 March 2017 – At the start of a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, a senior UN official highlighted that creating a world free of such weapons is a common obligation of all States – both nuclear and non-nuclear – and called for their inclusive engagement.

“Let us all work harder and more creatively, so that we can achieve our common goal of a world, safer and more secure, without nuclear weapons, and better for all,” said Kim Won-soo, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

Speaking on behalf of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, he also expressed hope that the instrument will also strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and advance the world closer to the total elimination of nuclear weapons and that it would make important contribution to nuclear disarmament and to our ultimate objective of general and complete disarmament.

Yet he acknowledged that defeatism and dismissiveness now permeate international deliberations on disarmament, and cautioned that the public at large seems to be losing interest in the issue. Indeed, it is hard to imagine these days a gathering of one million people in the street in support of nuclear disarmament, as the world witnessed in the 1980s.

“We need to find a new way to inspire and motivate the public in support of disarmament, in the same way that they have been energized to respond to the challenge of climate change, an existential threat facing humanity,” he stated.

According to 2016 estimates, more than 15,000 nuclear warheads remain in global stockpiles
While this is a considerable reduction from the inventories maintained during the Cold War, the pace of the reduction has declined in recent years and concerns are rising over continued reliance on nuclear weapons in security doctrines and continuing programmes to modernize and improve nuclear weapons.

In his remarks, Mr. Kim also stressed that purist of nuclear as well as non-nuclear strategic weapons would not create security but instead can provoke “new and destabilizing” arms races as well as exacerbate regional and global tension.

“The possession of nuclear weapons, which are linked with the threat of their use, is fundamentally incompatible with humanity’s common aspirations for peace and security,” he said.
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