A- A A+

ILO: A slight increase in unemployment in Latin America and the Caribbean, which could get worse in 2020

  • 28 January 2020 |

 A slight rise in unemployment at 8.1% marks a labor outlook that is not positive, and could worsen in 2020 if economic growth remains weak, says the annual report of the ILO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean . More than 25 million seek employment and do not get it in a region where demands for greater opportunities and equality grow.

 LIMA, Peru (ILO News) - Labor markets in Latin America and the Caribbean are going through a moment of uncertainty reflected in a slight rise in the regional unemployment rate and signs of precariousness that could worsen in 2020, the ILO said today present a new edition of its annual Labor Overview report.

“The labor market situation is complex,” said ILO Regional Director Juan Hunt, presenting the Labor Overview of Latin America and the Caribbean 2019 in the Peruvian capital.

The estimated average regional unemployment rate for the end of 2019 is 8.1%, a tenth percentage above 8.0% in 2018. It is a slight increase, but still means that more than 25 million people are looking for Employment actively and they don't get it.

This upward trend in unemployment could increase and reach 8.4% in 2020 if the region continues to face a situation of moderate economic growth. The latest ECLAC estimates placed the average growth of 2019 at 0.1% and forecast a low level for 2020 of 1.3%

The report emphasizes that behind the regional average unemployment there are diverse behaviors regarding unemployment. The rise in unemployment was predominant in Latin America where there was a rise in 9 of 14 countries. In the English-speaking Caribbean, on the other hand, there was a decrease in unemployment of 0.7 tenths.

At the same time, the relevance of Brazil and Mexico in the regional average is noted. The Labor Overview says that without including these two countries the average unemployment rate would register a more pronounced increase of 0.5 tenths percent, according to the data as of the third quarter of 2019.

The report adds that despite the persistent increase in women's labor participation, which reached 50.9% in the third quarter of 2019, it is still more than 20 percentage points below that of men, which is 74, 3%.

It also highlights that the latest data available for 2019 indicate that female unemployment rose 0.2 percentage points in the regional average, to 10.2%, while that of men remained unchanged at 7.3%, which would indicate that the weight in the increase in regional unemployment disproportionately affected women.

The ILO considered that the situation of young people is alarming, given that in the third quarter the regional unemployment rate was 19.8%, which implies that one in five young people in the labor force cannot find employment. This is the highest level recorded of that rate in the last decade.

“The lack of decent work opportunities for young people causes great concern because it is a source of discouragement and frustration. This has been reflected in the front line of recent protests in the region, calling for changes to aim for a better future, ”said Juan Hunt.

Social demands and precariousness


The ILO Regional Director commented that the recent demonstrations of citizens calling for better opportunities and greater equality "evidence the persistence of decent work deficits" in the region.

“The opportunities to access decent and productive employment, with fair wages, with social inclusion, with social protection and labor rights, are key to responding to social demands, to ensure that the benefits of growth reach everyone and to guarantee the governance, ”said Hunt when presenting the report.

Referring to the data on employment quality included in the report, the ILO regional economist, Hugo Ñopo, who coordinated the preparation of this Labor Overview, explained that “the dynamics of economic slowdown observed since mid-2018 have had such an impact on the structure as in the quality of jobs ”.

Ñopo noted that since 2018 there is a lower growth in salaried employment compared to self-employment, especially non-professional employment, and stressed that these are signs that at this time there is “a relative precariousness of the jobs that are being created in Latin America and the Caribbean ”.

The report also states that there is a tendency to increase in the indicators of under-occupation due to insufficient working time. The percentage of employed people who work less than 35 hours and want to work more increased in 10 of the 11 countries with available data.

Referring to the economic slowdown experienced by the region in the last year, Ñopo warned that "the impacts on the labor market are not yet fully reflected", due to the lag in the demand for employment.

The ILO specialist said that the challenge for the countries of the region is clear: “integrate the more than 25 million unemployed and give decent employment to an even greater and diverse number of people who are waiting for the benefits to reach their family economies. ”

 

Read more...

S-G's Remarks at the Holocaust Memorial ceremony

  • 27 January 2020 |

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

We meet in the General Assembly today to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, to remember the six million Jews and many others who were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust, and to re-commit to preventing any repetition of those crimes.

I extend a special welcome to the survivors here with us today. We are all deeply grateful to them and to all Holocaust survivors, who inspire us with their strength and their example.

Our solidarity in the face of hatred is needed today more than ever, as we see a deeply worrying resurgence in antisemitic attacks around the world, including here in New York.  

Just thirty miles from here, less than a month ago, a knife attack on a Hannukah party left five people injured at a rabbi’s house in the small community of Monsey. That came just a few weeks after the killing of four people at a kosher supermarket in New Jersey.

New York saw a 21 percent rise in antisemitic hate crimes in 2019, part of a trend in cities across the United States. 

And the situation for Jews in Europe is, if anything, worse.

France saw a 74 percent increase in antisemitic attacks in 2018. In the United Kingdom, antisemitic attacks rose by 16 percent to a record high.

An attack on a synagogue in the German town of Halle during Yom Kippur last October left two people dead. In Italy, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor was provided with an armed escort after she suffered a torrent of antisemitic abuse.

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, 

We need to name this phenomenon for what it is: there is a global crisis of antisemitic hatred; a constant stream of attacks targeting Jews, their institutions and property.

Almost every day brings new reports of hate crimes. Many of the perpetrators are inspired by previous attacks, glorifying the assailants and creating a self-reinforcing vortex of violence.  

Neo-Nazis and white supremacists are resurgent, organizing themselves and spreading their poisonous ideology and iconography online. The internet, from social media to online gaming platforms and the dark web, is their playground and their recruiting office. They manipulate video content and poison young minds.

This upsurge of antisemitism cannot be seen in isolation from an extremely troubling increase in xenophobia, homophobia, discrimination and hatred in many parts of the world, targeting people on the basis of their identity, including race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability and immigration status.

Attacks against religious minorities are a particular concern. Around the world, we have seen Jews murdered in synagogues, their gravestones defaced with swastikas; Christians killed at prayer, their churches torched; and Muslims gunned down in mosques, their religious sites vandalized.

As the former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Jonathan Sacks, has said: “The hate that begins with Jews never ends there.”

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Seventy-five years ago today, when the soldiers of the Soviet army entered Auschwitz, they were stunned into silence by what they saw. The Nazis’ efforts to hide their crimes were undermined by the clear evidence of millions of pieces of clothing and tons of hair.  To quote Primo Levi, the liberators felt “guilt that such a crime should exist”.

Like the soldiers, we are revolted by the horrific details of Auschwitz. But it is our duty to look and to continue looking; to learn and to relearn the lessons of the Holocaust, so that it is never repeated.

The most important lesson is that the Holocaust was not an aberration committed at a particular moment in history by a few unspeakably sick people.

It was the culmination of millennia of hatred, from the Roman Empire to the pogroms of the Middle Ages. My own country, Portugal, committed an act of utter cruelty and stupidity by expelling its Jewish population in the fifteenth century.

European Jews were excluded from almost all areas of economic activity; scapegoated if they succeeded; and defined as inferior. One scheme put forward decades before Hitler’s rise to power involved shipping all eastern Europe’s Jews to the African island of Madagascar.

When I visited Yad Vashem two years ago, I was appalled once again by the ability of antisemitism to reinvent itself and reemerge over millennia.

It may take new forms; it may be spread by new techniques; but it is the same old hatred. We can never lower our guard.

And far from being the project of a few insane individuals, the Nazi attempt to exterminate Jews and other vulnerable people involved architects, scientists, doctors, lawyers, engineers, drivers, bureaucrats, soldiers. Millions of ordinary people were desensitized to crimes against humanity taking place around them, often described by euphemisms like “special measures”.

As the great writer Hannah Arendt said, most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.

The Holocaust was a complex operation arising from long-held prejudices and required the corruption of society from top to bottom; the corruption of language; of education and political discourse.    

As we work to live up to the promise of “Never again”, we need to examine our own prejudices; guard against the misuse of our own technology; and be alert to any signs that hatred is being normalized.   

Excellencies,

Prejudice and hatred thrive on insecurity, frustrated expectations, ignorance and resentment. Populist leaders exploit these feelings to whip up fear, in pursuit of power.

When any group of people is defined as a problem, it becomes easier to commit human rights abuses and to normalize discrimination against them.

Combating prejudice requires leadership at all levels that fosters social cohesion and addresses the root causes of hatred.

It requires investment in all parts of society, so that all can contribute in a spirit of mutual respect.

Promoting social cohesion and human rights, and addressing discrimination and hatred are among the overriding aims of the United Nations, through our efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Decade of Action I launched last week is aimed at stepping up support for countries around the world to build inclusive, diverse, respectful societies that provide lives of dignity and opportunity for all.

Read more...

Remarks to the General Assembly on priorities for 2020

  • 22 January 2020 |

Happy New Year.

2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.

I draw tremendous strength from all that we represent and all that we have achieved together.

Yet anniversaries are not about celebrating the past; they are about looking ahead.

We must cast our eyes to the future with hope.

But we must also do so without illusion.

Today I want to speak to you in stark and simple terms about the challenges we face.

I see “four horsemen” in our midst — four looming threats that endanger 21st-century progress and imperil 21st-century possibilities.

The first horseman comes in the form of the highest global geostrategic tensions we have witnessed in years.

Devastating conflicts continue to cause widespread misery.  Terrorist attacks take a merciless toll.  The nuclear menace is growing.  More people have been forced from their homes by war and persecution than at any time since the Second World War.  Tensions over trade and technology remain unresolved.  The risk of a Great Fracture is real. 

Second, we face an existential climate crisis.

Rising temperatures continue to melt records.  The past decade was the hottest on record.  Scientists tell us that ocean temperatures are now rising at the equivalent of five Hiroshima bombs a second. 

One million species are in near-term danger of extinction.   

Our planet is burning.

Meanwhile, as we saw at COP25, too many decision-makers continue to fiddle.

Our world is edging closer to the point of no return.

The third horseman is deep and growing global mistrust.

Disquiet and discontent are churning societies from north to south.

Each situation is unique, but everywhere frustration is filling the streets.

More and more people are convinced globalization is not working for them.

As one of our own reports revealed just yesterday, two of every three people live in countries where inequality has grown.

Confidence in political establishments is going down. 

Young people are rising up.

Women are rightly demanding equality and freedom from violence and discrimination.

At the same time, fears and anxieties are spreading.  Hostility against refugees and migrants is building.  Hatred is growing.

The fourth threat is the dark side of the digital world.

Technological advances are moving faster than our ability to respond to – or even comprehend – them.

Despite enormous benefits, new technologies are being abused to commit crimes, incite hate, fake information, oppress and exploit people and invade privacy.

We are not prepared for the profound impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the labour market and the very structure of society. 

Artificial intelligence is generating breathtaking capacities and alarming possibilities.  Lethal autonomous weapons — machines with the power to kill on their own, without human judgement and accountability — are bringing us into unacceptable moral and political territory. 

These four horsemen – epic geopolitical tensions, the climate crisis, global mistrust and the downsides of technology – can jeopardize every aspect of our shared future.

That is why commemorating the 75th anniversary with nice speeches won’t do. 

           

We must address these four 21st-century challenges with four 21st-century solutions.

Let me take each in turn.

First, peace and security, that I mentioned.

There are some signs of hope.

Last year, conflict was prevented in the wake of several critical elections, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Madagascar …from Mali to the Maldives and beyond.

Despite hostilities in Yemen, the fragile cease-fire in Hodeidah is holding.

A constitutional committee in Syria has taken form, even if it is still facing meaningful obstacles.

A peace agreement in the Central African Republic is being implemented.

And the recent Berlin conference on Libya brought key players around the peace table at a critical moment, committing to “refraining from interference in the armed conflict or in the internal affairs of Libya” and urging “all international actors to do the same”.

All of these efforts require patience and persistence.  But they are essential and save lives.

As we look ahead, we have our work cut out for us. 

We see Gordian Knots across the world -- from the Gulf to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from the Sahel and Lake Chad to Venezuela.

Security Council resolutions are being ignored.

Outside interference is fueling fires.

And we are at risk of losing pillars of the international disarmament and arms control [architecture] without viable alternatives.

Yes, the United Nations continues to deliver life-saving aid to millions of people in desperate need.

But temporary relief is no substitute for permanent solutions.

Prevention must orient all we do as we engage across the peace continuum.

We must strengthen our mediation capacity and our tools for sustaining peace, leading to long-term development.

Our Action for Peacekeeping initiative is enhancing performance and safety. 

We are becoming more effective in the protection of civilians, and we have more female peacekeepers than ever before. 

The 20th anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security is also an opportunity to further match words with deeds.

At the same time, we know peacekeeping is not enough where there is no peace to keep. 

We need to create the conditions for effective peace enforcement and counter-terrorism operations by our regional partners, under chapter VII of the Charter and with predictable funding.

This is especially true in Africa, from the Sahel to Lake Chad.

And we must focus on the roots of crisis and upheaval — combatting the drivers of violence and extremism – from exclusion to economic despair, from violent misogyny to governance failures.

Last year, I launched first-of-its-kind action plans to combat hate speech and to safeguard religious sites. 

This year, I will convene a conference on the role of education in tackling hate speech. 

And we must continue to advance the Agenda for Disarmament.  I call on all State Parties to work together at the 2020 Review of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to ensure the NPT remains able to fulfil its fundamental goals – preventing nuclear war and facilitating the elimination of nuclear weapons. 

The second “horseman” is the threat of climate catastrophe.  We must respond with the promise of climate action. 

We are at war with nature.  And nature is fighting back hard.

One cannot look at the recent fires in Australia – at people fleeing their homes and wildlife consumed by the flames – without profound sadness at today’s plight and fear for what the future may bring. 

Meanwhile, air pollution combined with climate change is killing, according to the World Health Organization, 7 million people every year.

Gradual approaches are no longer enough.

At the next climate conference -- COP26 in Glasgow – Governments must deliver the transformational change our world needs and that people demand, with much stronger ambition – ambition on mitigation, ambition on adaptation, and ambition on finance.

Every city, region, bank, pension fund and industry must completely reimagine how they operate to keep temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

The scientific community is clear.  We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, and reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The main obligation rests on the main emitters. 

Those countries that contributed most to this crisis must lead the way.

If they dither, we are doomed. 

But I still believe the climate battle is a battle we can win.

People get it.

Technology is on our side. 

Scientists tell us it is not too late.

Economists and asset managers tell us climate smart investments are the key to competing and winning in the 21st century.

All the tools and knowledge to move from the grey economy to the green economy are already available.

So let us embrace transformation – let us build on the results of last September’s Climate Action Summit — and let us make the commitments to make Glasgow a success.

Together with Glasgow, we have two other opportunities to act decisively this year.

First, the Oceans conference in Lisbon in June. 

The world’s oceans are under assault from pollution, overfishing and much else. 

Plastic waste is tainting not only the fish we eat but also the water we drink and the air we breathe.

We must use the Lisbon conference to protect the oceans from further abuse and recognize their fundamental role in the health of people and planet.

For example, based on the success of several national initiatives, it is time for a global ban on single-use plastics.

Second, the Biodiversity conference in Kunming in October. 

The rate of species loss is exponentially higher than at any time in the past 10 million years.

We must make the most of the Kunming conference to adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. 

Living in harmony with nature is more important than ever.

Everything is interlinked. 

To help vanquish the third horseman — global mistrust —we must build a fair globalization. 

We have a plan.  It’s called the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and all of your governments pledged to make it a reality.

The good news is that I hear tremendous enthusiasm for the SDGs wherever I go —from political leaders at the national and local levels, to entrepreneurs, investors, civil society and so many others.

We see concrete progress – from reducing child mortality to expanding education, from improving access to family planning to increasing access to the internet.

But what we see is not enough.

Indeed, we are off track.

At present course, half a billion people will still be living in extreme poverty by 2030.

And the gender gap in economic participation would have to wait more than 250 years! 

That is unacceptable.

For all these reasons, we are launching a Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The Decade of Action is central to achieving a fair globalization, boosting economic growth and preventing conflict.

We will leverage the reformed United Nations Development System to engage partners from the local to the global:

To mobilize a movement for the Sustainable Development Goals.

To unlock financing.

To generate the ambition, innovation and solutions to deliver for everyone, everywhere.

Throughout the Decade of Action, we must invest in the eradication of poverty, social protection, in health and fighting pandemics, in education, energy, water and sanitation, in sustainable transport and infrastructure and in internet access.

We must improve governance, tackle illicit financial flows, stamp out corruption and develop effective, common sense and fair taxation systems.

We must build economies for the future and ensure decent work for all, especially young people.

And we must put a special focus on women and girls because it benefits us all.

The 25th  anniversary of the Beijing Platform is an opportunity to rethink economic, political and social systems from an equality perspective. 

It’s time to drive women’s equal participation in decision-making and end all forms of violence against women and girls. 

We must dismantle obstacles to women’s inclusion and participation in the economy, including through valuing unpaid care work.

And we must listen and learn from so many women around the world who have been driving solutions.

I will convene, on an annual basis, a platform for driving the Decade of Action.

The first SDG Action Forum in September will highlight progress and set the trajectory for success.

So let us make the 2020s the Decade of Action and let us make 2020 the year of urgency.

And, as we do so, let us spare no effort to rebuild trust.

I make a special appeal to all Member States: 

Listen to people. 

Open new channels for all to be heard and find common ground. 

Respect freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.

Protect civic space and freedom of the press.

And let us harness the ideas and energy and sense of hope of young people —in particular young women — demanding change and constructive solutions.

Quatrièmement, pour nous protéger contre le côté obscur du monde numérique, nous devons mettre la technologie au service du bien.

J’y vois plusieurs pistes d’action, à commencer par le marché mondial du travail.

D’ici 2030, l’automatisation va défaire des dizaines de millions d’emplois.

Il nous faut donc entièrement repenser les systèmes éducatifs. Il ne s’agit pas seulement d’apprendre, mais d’apprendre à apprendre, tout au long de la vie.

Nous devons inventer de nouveaux filets de protection sociale et repenser la notion même de travail, en tenant compte, tout au long de la vie, d’un nouvel équilibre entre travail, loisirs et autres activités.

Nous devons aussi instaurer de l’ordre dans cet espace sans foi ni loi qu’est devenu le cyberespace.

Les terroristes, les suprémacistes blancs et tous ceux qui sèment la haine exploitent Internet et les médias sociaux.

Les « bots » répandent la désinformation, alimentent la polarisation et minent les démocraties.

L’année prochaine, la cybercriminalité coûtera six mille milliards de dollars par an.

Le cyberespace risque d’être divisé en deux.

Et nous devons lutter contre la fragmentation numérique en encourageant la coopération à l’échelle mondiale.

L’ONU est une plateforme faite sur mesure pour cela. Elle permet aux gouvernements, aux entreprises, à la société civile et d’autres de se réunir pour élaborer de nouvelles normes et protocoles, de définir des lignes rouges et d’établir des règles souples et flexibles.

Dans certains cas, il sera peut-être nécessaire de prendre des mesures juridiquement contraignantes.

Dans d’autres, nous pourrons faire appel à la coopération volontaire et à l’échange de meilleures pratiques.

Il faudra par exemple apporter un appui aux processus et institutions existants, comme le Groupe de travail à composition non limitée sur les progrès de l’informatique et des télécommunications dans le contexte de la sécurité internationale et le Groupe d’experts gouvernementaux chargé d’examiner les moyens de favoriser le comportement responsable des États dans le cyberespace, lié dans le cadre de l’Assemblée générale.

Il semble qu’un consensus existe autour du renforcement du Forum sur la gouvernance d’Internet, qui doit servir de point de rassemblement où des politiques numériques efficaces sont débattues et proposées.

Dans le prolongement du rapport du Groupe de Haut Niveau sur la Coopération Numérique, je présenterai bientôt un plan d’action en faveur de la coopération numérique couvrant la connectivité Internet, les droits humains, la confiance et la sécurité à l’ère de l’interdépendance numérique.

Dans le même temps, nous devons œuvrer ensemble pour que l’intelligence artificielle soit une force au service de l’humain.

Malgré l’étape importante franchie l’année dernière dans le cadre de la Convention sur certaines armes classiques, nous continuons de nous acheminer vers un monde de machines tueuses qui échappent au discernement ou au contrôle de l’être humain.

L’appel que je lance à tous les États Membres est aussi simple que direct : interdisez dès maintenant les armes létales autonomes.

Ce sont là quatre grandes menaces qui selon moi planent sur l’année à venir – et quatre grandes solutions dont nous avons besoin.

La protection et la promotion de tous les droits humains doivent être au centre de notre action collective. Je suis extrêmement préoccupé par l’érosion des droits humains à travers le monde. Comme je l’ai souligné à plusieurs reprises, la Charte nous oblige à placer les peuples et les droits humains au cœur de notre engagement. C'est pourquoi je lancerai, le mois prochain à Genève, un nouvel appel à l'action en faveur des droits et de la dignité humaines.

Pour relever tous ces défis, nous devons continuer de donner à l’ONU les moyens de relever les défis de cette nouvelle ère.

C’est pourquoi, dès mon entrée en fonction et avec votre soutien, j’ai entrepris des réformes d’envergure qui privilégient la flexibilité, la transparence et l’application du principe de responsabilité.

En 2020, nous allons poursuivre sur la base des progrès réalisés.

Nous commençons d’ailleurs déjà l’année avec une réussite de taille.

Le 1er janvier, pour la première fois de l’histoire de l’Organisation, nous sommes parvenus à la parité hommes-femmes au sein de l’ensemble des postes de plus haut rang occupés à temps plein, c’est à dire des secrétaires généraux adjoints et sous-secrétaires généraux à temps plein.

Nous y sommes parvenus deux ans plus tôt que prévu.

Et j’ai bien l’intention de ne pas m’arrêter en si bon chemin et d’améliorer l’inclusion et la parité à tous les niveaux de l’organisation.

Et je vous demande de m’aider à éliminer certains règlements désuets et procédures obscures qui entravent ce chemin.

Je suis tout aussi déterminé à faire de 2020 une année de véritable progrès pour la répartition géographique plus équitable et une plus grande diversité régionale du personnel des Nations Unies.

Nous avons lancé une stratégie à l’échelle du Secrétariat en ce sens.

Mais, vous le savez, pour atteindre les objectifs de parité et de diversité, il faut pourvoir les postes vacants, et pour pourvoir les postes vacants, il nous faut des ressources.

Je suis fermement décidé aussi à développer davantage encore nos efforts pour prévenir et mettre un terme au harcèlement sexuel.

L’équipe d’enquête spécialisée du Bureau des services de contrôle interne est déjà entièrement opérationnelle.

Une nouvelle politique sur le harcèlement sexuel est en cours d’intégration dans les différents cadres règlementaires du système des Nations Unies.

Une base de données centralisée de vérification des antécédents a été déployée pour empêcher les personnes coupables de harcèlement ou d’exploitation sexuelle de revenir discrètement dans le système onusien.

Notre stratégie de lutte contre l’exploitation et les atteintes sexuelles est également en cours de mise en œuvre et prévoit notamment un soutien accru aux victimes.

Plus largement, je suis résolu à faire que l’Organisation montre la voie à suivre en veillant à ce que toutes celles et ceux qui travaillent à l’ONU soient respectés, puissent faire entendre leur voix et aient les moyens de donner le meilleur d’eux-mêmes.

Nous avançons sur notre nouvelle Stratégie pour l’inclusion des personnes handicapées.

Et je suis aussi pleinement mobilisé afin d’assurer l’égalité et la non-discrimination pour le personnel LGBTI dans le système des Nations Unies et dans nos opérations de maintien de la paix.

L'année à venir sera cruciale pour notre avenir commun. Je veux que les hommes et les femmes du monde entier en fassent partie.

Trop souvent, les gouvernements et les institutions internationales comme la nôtre sont considérés comme des lieux pour parler – pas pour écouter.

Je veux que les Nations Unies soient à l’écoute.

En cette année du 75ème anniversaire, je veux donner la possibilité d'avoir une conversation avec les Nations Unies au plus grand nombre de personnes possible dans le monde.

Pour partager leurs espoirs et leurs craintes.

Pour apprendre de leurs expériences.

Pour susciter des idées nouvelles sur l'avenir que nous voulons et les Nations Unies dont nous avons besoin.

Nous lançons des sondages et des échanges à travers le monde en ce sens.

Et nous donnons une priorité aux voix des jeunes.

Ensemble, nous devons écouter.

Ensemble, nous devons agir.

En ce 75ème anniversaire, prenons les décisions difficiles qui s’imposent afin d’assurer un avenir pacifique pour tous.

Et je vous remercie.

*****

[All-English version]

Happy New Year.

2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.

I draw tremendous strength from all that we represent and all that we have achieved together.

Yet anniversaries are not about celebrating the past; they are about looking ahead.

We must cast our eyes to the future with hope.

But we must also do so without illusion.

Today I want to speak to you in stark and simple terms about the challenges we face.

I see “four horsemen” in our midst — four looming threats that endanger 21st-century progress and imperil 21st-century possibilities.

The first horseman comes in the form of the highest global geostrategic tensions we have witnessed in years.

Devastating conflicts continue to cause widespread misery.  Terrorist attacks take a merciless toll.  The nuclear menace is growing.  More people have been forced from their homes by war and persecution than at any time since the Second World War.  Tensions over trade and technology remain unresolved.  The risk of a Great Fracture is real. 

Second, we face an existential climate crisis.

Rising temperatures continue to melt records.  The past decade was the hottest on record.  Scientists tell us that ocean temperatures are now rising at the equivalent of five Hiroshima bombs a second. 

One million species are in near-term danger of extinction.   

Our planet is burning.

Meanwhile, as we saw at COP25, too many decision-makers continue to fiddle.

Our world is edging closer to the point of no return.

The third horseman is deep and growing global mistrust.

Disquiet and discontent are churning societies from north to south.

Each situation is unique, but everywhere frustration is filling the streets.

More and more people are convinced globalization is not working for them.

As one of our own reports revealed just yesterday, two of every three people live in countries where inequality has grown.

Confidence in political establishments is going down. 

Young people are rising up.

Women are rightly demanding equality and freedom from violence and discrimination.

At the same time, fears and anxieties are spreading.  Hostility against refugees and migrants is building.  Hatred is growing.

The fourth threat is the dark side of the digital world.

Technological advances are moving faster than our ability to respond to – or even comprehend – them.

Despite enormous benefits, new technologies are being abused to commit crimes, incite hate, fake information, oppress and exploit people and invade privacy.

We are not prepared for the profound impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the labour market and the very structure of society. 

Artificial intelligence is generating breathtaking capacities and alarming possibilities.  Lethal autonomous weapons — machines with the power to kill on their own, without human judgement and accountability — are bringing us into unacceptable moral and political territory. 

These four horsemen – epic geopolitical tensions, the climate crisis, global mistrust and the downsides of technology – can jeopardize every aspect of our shared future.

That is why commemorating the 75th anniversary with nice speeches won’t do. 

           

We must address these four 21st-century challenges with four 21st-century solutions.

Let me take each in turn.

First, peace and security, that I mentioned.

There are some signs of hope.

Last year, conflict was prevented in the wake of several critical elections, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Madagascar …from Mali to the Maldives and beyond.

Despite hostilities in Yemen, the fragile cease-fire in Hodeidah is holding.

A constitutional committee in Syria has taken form, even if it is still facing meaningful obstacles.

A peace agreement in the Central African Republic is being implemented.

And the recent Berlin conference on Libya brought key players around the peace table at a critical moment, committing to “refraining from interference in the armed conflict or in the internal affairs of Libya” and urging “all international actors to do the same”.

All of these efforts require patience and persistence.  But they are essential and save lives.

As we look ahead, we have our work cut out for us. 

We see Gordian Knots across the world -- from the Gulf to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from the Sahel and Lake Chad to Venezuela.

Security Council resolutions are being ignored.

Outside interference is fueling fires.

And we are at risk of losing pillars of the international disarmament and arms control [architecture] without viable alternatives.

Yes, the United Nations continues to deliver life-saving aid to millions of people in desperate need.

But temporary relief is no substitute for permanent solutions.

Prevention must orient all we do as we engage across the peace continuum.

We must strengthen our mediation capacity and our tools for sustaining peace, leading to long-term development.

Our Action for Peacekeeping initiative is enhancing performance and safety. 

We are becoming more effective in the protection of civilians, and we have more female peacekeepers than ever before. 

The 20th anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security is also an opportunity to further match words with deeds.

At the same time, we know peacekeeping is not enough where there is no peace to keep. 

We need to create the conditions for effective peace enforcement and counter-terrorism operations by our regional partners, under chapter VII of the Charter and with predictable funding.

This is especially true in Africa, from the Sahel to Lake Chad.

And we must focus on the roots of crisis and upheaval — combatting the drivers of violence and extremism – from exclusion to economic despair, from violent misogyny to governance failures.

Last year, I launched first-of-its-kind action plans to combat hate speech and to safeguard religious sites. 

This year, I will convene a conference on the role of education in tackling hate speech. 

And we must continue to advance the Agenda for Disarmament.  I call on all State Parties to work together at the 2020 Review of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to ensure the NPT remains able to fulfil its fundamental goals – preventing nuclear war and facilitating the elimination of nuclear weapons. 

The second “horseman” is the threat of climate catastrophe.  We must respond with the promise of climate action. 

We are at war with nature.  And nature is fighting back hard.

One cannot look at the recent fires in Australia – at people fleeing their homes and wildlife consumed by the flames – without profound sadness at today’s plight and fear for what the future may bring. 

Meanwhile, air pollution combined with climate change is killing, according to the World Health Organization, 7 million people every year.

Gradual approaches are no longer enough.

At the next climate conference -- COP26 in Glasgow – Governments must deliver the transformational change our world needs and that people demand, with much stronger ambition – ambition on mitigation, ambition on adaptation, and ambition on finance.

Every city, region, bank, pension fund and industry must completely reimagine how they operate to keep temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

The scientific community is clear.  We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, and reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The main obligation rests on the main emitters. 

Those countries that contributed most to this crisis must lead the way.

If they dither, we are doomed. 

But I still believe the climate battle is a battle we can win.

People get it.

Technology is on our side. 

Scientists tell us it is not too late.

Economists and asset managers tell us climate smart investments are the key to competing and winning in the 21st century.

All the tools and knowledge to move from the grey economy to the green economy are already available.

So let us embrace transformation – let us build on the results of last September’s Climate Action Summit — and let us make the commitments to make Glasgow a success.

Together with Glasgow, we have two other opportunities to act decisively this year.

First, the Oceans conference in Lisbon in June. 

The world’s oceans are under assault from pollution, overfishing and much else. 

Plastic waste is tainting not only the fish we eat but also the water we drink and the air we breathe.

We must use the Lisbon conference to protect the oceans from further abuse and recognize their fundamental role in the health of people and planet.

For example, based on the success of several national initiatives, it is time for a global ban on single-use plastics.

Second, the Biodiversity conference in Kunming in October. 

The rate of species loss is exponentially higher than at any time in the past 10 million years.

We must make the most of the Kunming conference to adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. 

Living in harmony with nature is more important than ever.

Everything is interlinked. 

To help vanquish the third horseman — global mistrust —we must build a fair globalization. 

We have a plan.  It’s called the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and all of your governments pledged to make it a reality.

The good news is that I hear tremendous enthusiasm for the SDGs wherever I go —from political leaders at the national and local levels, to entrepreneurs, investors, civil society and so many others.

We see concrete progress – from reducing child mortality to expanding education, from improving access to family planning to increasing access to the internet.

But what we see is not enough.

Indeed, we are off track.

At present course, half a billion people will still be living in extreme poverty by 2030.

And the gender gap in economic participation would have to wait more than 250 years! 

That is unacceptable.

For all these reasons, we are launching a Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The Decade of Action is central to achieving a fair globalization, boosting economic growth and preventing conflict.

We will leverage the reformed United Nations Development System to engage partners from the local to the global:

To mobilize a movement for the Sustainable Development Goals.

To unlock financing.

To generate the ambition, innovation and solutions to deliver for everyone, everywhere.

Throughout the Decade of Action, we must invest in the eradication of poverty, social protection, in health and fighting pandemics, in education, energy, water and sanitation, in sustainable transport and infrastructure and in internet access.

We must improve governance, tackle illicit financial flows, stamp out corruption and develop effective, common sense and fair taxation systems.

We must build economies for the future and ensure decent work for all, especially young people.

And we must put a special focus on women and girls because it benefits us all.

The 25th  anniversary of the Beijing Platform is an opportunity to rethink economic, political and social systems from an equality perspective. 

It’s time to drive women’s equal participation in decision-making and end all forms of violence against women and girls. 

We must dismantle obstacles to women’s inclusion and participation in the economy, including through valuing unpaid care work.

And we must listen and learn from so many women around the world who have been driving solutions.

I will convene, on an annual basis, a platform for driving the Decade of Action.

The first SDG Action Forum in September will highlight progress and set the trajectory for success.

So let us make the 2020s the Decade of Action and let us make 2020 the year of urgency.

And, as we do so, let us spare no effort to rebuild trust.

I make a special appeal to all Member States: 

Listen to people. 

Open new channels for all to be heard and find common ground. 

Respect freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.

Protect civic space and freedom of the press.

And let us harness the ideas and energy and sense of hope of young people —in particular young women — demanding change and constructive solutions.

Fourth, to address the dark side of digital world, we must steer technology for positive change.

I see several areas for action — starting with the global labor market.

Automation will displace tens of millions of jobs by 2030.

We need to redesign education systems. It’s not just about learning but learning how to learn, across a lifetime.

We need more innovative approaches to social safety nets and rethinking the concept of work, and the lifelong balance among work, leisure and other activities.

 

We also must usher in order to the Wild West of cyberspace.

Terrorists, white supremacists and others who sow hate are exploiting the internet and social media.

Bots are spreading disinformation, fueling polarization and undermining democracies.

  

Next year, cybercrime will cost $6 trillion.

Cyberspace itself is at risk of cleaving in two. 

We must work against digital fragmentation by promoting global digital cooperation.

The United Nations is a tailor-made platform for governments, business, civil society and others to come together to formulate new protocols and norms, to define red-lines, and to build agile and flexible regulatory frameworks.

Some responses may require legally-binding measures.

Others may be based on voluntary cooperation and the exchange of best practices.

This includes support for existing processes and institutions like the Open-Ended Working Group on information and telecommunications in the context of security, and the Group of Government Experts on advancing responsible behavior in cyberspace and within the General Assembly.

I believe consensus has been built to strengthen the Internet Governance Forum to serve as a central gathering point to discuss and propose effective digital policies.

Following up on the Report of the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation, I will soon present a Roadmap for Digital Cooperation covering internet connectivity, human rights, trust and security in the age of digital interdependence.

At the same time, we need a common effort to ensure artificial intelligence is a force for good.

Despite last year’s important step within the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, we are still lurching toward a world of killer machines acting outside human judgment or control.

I have a simple and direct plea to all Member States:  Ban lethal autonomous weapons now.  

These are the four big threats — and four big solutions I see in the year ahead.

Across this work, the promotion and protection of all human rights must be central.  I am deeply concerned about the different ways in which respect for human rights is being eroded around the world.  As I have repeatedly underscored, the Charter compels us to place people and their rights at the heart of our work. That is why, next month in Geneva, I will launch a call for stepped up global action on human rights and human dignity.

In order to meet all these challenges, we must continue to make the United Nations fit for the challenges of our new age.

That is why from day one, and with your support, I have pursued wide-ranging reforms rooted in flexibility, transparency and accountability.

In 2020, we will build on our progress.

Indeed, we already began the year with a major success.

On January 1st — for the first time in UN history — we achieved gender parity across our senior-most ranks of full-time Under-and Assistant-Secretaries-General taken together. 

We did it two years ahead of schedule.

And I plan to keep going — ensuring greater inclusion and parity at all levels of the Organization. 

I appeal for your support in removing out-dated regulations and byzantine procedures that stand in the way. 

I am equally committed to making 2020 a year of meaningful progress for more equitable geographical distribution and greater regional diversity among staff of the United Nations. 

We have launched a Secretariat-wide strategy to do so. 

But, as you know, reaching gender parity and diversity targets also depends on the ability to fill vacant posts — and that largely depends on resources.

I am also determined to build on our efforts to prevent and end sexual harassment. 

A specialized investigation team in the Office of Internal Oversight Service is already up and running. 

A new sexual harassment policy is being incorporated into respective frameworks across the wider UN family.

A centralized, system-wide screening database is in place to deny the ability of sexual harassers to sneak back into the system.

Our strategy to combat sexual exploitation and abuse is also advancing, including through greater assistance and support to victims.

In the broadest sense, I am determined to make the United Nations a workplace leader in ensuring all staff are respected, all have a voice, and all are enabled to do their best.

We are making progress on our new disability inclusion strategy.

And I am strongly committed to ensuring equality and non-discrimination for LGBTI staff in the UN system and our peacekeeping operations. 

The year ahead will be pivotal for our common future.  I want people around the world to be a part of it. 

Too often, governments and international institutions are viewed as places that talk —not places that listen.

I want the United Nations to listen. 

In this 75th anniversary year, I want to provide as many people as possible the chance to have a conversation with the United Nations.

To share their hopes and fears.

To learn from their experiences.

To spark ideas for building the future we want and the United Nations we need.

We are launching surveys and dialogues around the world to do so.

And we are giving a priority to the voices of young people.

Together, we need to listen.

And together, we need to act.

At this 75th anniversary milestone, let us make the difficult yet vital decisions across our agenda that will secure a peaceful future for all.

Thank you.

Read more...

Grenada to be reviewed by Human Rights Council's UPR

  • 22 January 2020 |

Geneva,  22 January – Grenada’s human rights record will be examined by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the third time on Monday, 27 January 2020 from 9.00 – 12.30 (04.00 - 07.30 Grenada time) in Room 20, Palais des Nations, Geneva. It will be webcast live. Grenada is one of the  14 States to be reviewed by the UPR Working Group during its upcoming session taking place from 20 to 31 January. The country's first and second UPR reviews took place in May 2010 and January 2015, respectively.
The documents on which the reviews are based are:

  1. National report - information provided by the State under review;
  2. Information contained in the reports of independent human rights experts and group, known as the Special Procedures, human rights treaty bodies, and other UN entities;
  3. Information provided by other stakeholders including national human rights institutions, regional organisations and civil society group

Documentation for these and other information can be found  at UPR's countries page.

The UPR is a unique process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. Since its first meeting was held in April 2008, all 193 UN member States have been reviewed twice within the first and second UPR cycles. During the third UPR cycle, States are again expected to spell out steps they have taken to implement recommendations posed during their previous reviews which they committed to follow-up on, as well as to highlight recent human rights developments in the country.

The delegation of Grenada will be headed by Mr. Charles Peter David, Minister for Foreign Affairs. The three country representatives serving as rapporteurs (“troika”) for the review of Grenada are: Brazil, India and the Netherlands.

Guyana will also be reveiwed on 29 January from 09.00 - 12.30 ( 04.00 - 07.30 Guyana time). The three country representatives serving as rapporteurs (“troika”)  are: Australia, Chile and Pakistan.

The webcast of the session will be at http://webtv.un.org

Read more...

Remarks at the opening of the exhibit marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau

  • 21 January 2020 |

Excellencies, Mr. Zoltan Matyash, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

It is an honour to be here with you today at the opening of this exhibit. The United Nations is fortunate to host such a deeply moving and important collection of photographs.

Seventy-five years ago, when soldiers of the Soviet army entered Auschwitz, they were stunned into silence by what they saw. The Nazis had attempted to hide some of the evidence of mass murder. But the millions of clothing items and tons of hair told their own appalling story.

Liberation ended the Holocaust. But it was just the beginning of our efforts to make sure such crimes never happen again.

I will never forget my visit to Yad Vashem two years ago. I was shocked once again by the ability of antisemitism to reinvent itself and re-emerge time and again, over millennia. Even after the Holocaust, when its catastrophic results could not have been clearer, antisemitism continues. Sometimes it takes new forms, and is spread by new techniques, but it is the same old hatred. We can never lower our guard.

The past few years have seen a frightening upsurge in antisemitic attacks both in Europe and the United States, part of a troubling increase in xenophobia, homophobia, discrimination and hatred of all kinds. Even Nazism itself is threatening to reemerge —sometimes openly, sometimes in disguise. 

As the former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Jonathan Sacks, has said, “The hate that begins with Jews never ends there.”

Remembrance and education are an essential part of our prevention efforts, because ignorance creates fertile ground for false narratives and lies. “Never again” means telling the story again and again.

It is a great honour to have Mr. Zoltan Matyash here with us today. We are all deeply grateful to him and to all Holocaust survivors, who inspire us with their strength and their example.

As survivors grow older, it is essential that we keep their memories alive and carry their testimony forward in new ways for new generations. 

That is why the United Nations Holocaust Outreach Programme and UNESCO provide written testimony, photographs, videos and other resources for schools and institutions around the world.

And that is why exhibitions like this are so important. These portraits of Holocaust survivors speak to us of the dignity, humanity and interconnectedness of each unique member of our human family.

Their heartbreaking stories of survival and courage inspire us to do more, in whatever way we can, to combat persecution, hatred and discrimination, wherever they are found. 

We will gather at the General Assembly in a few days to pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust and to renew the commitment of the international community to prevent any repetition of such crimes against humanity. 

Understanding our history connects us to the essential human values of truth, respect, justice and compassion.  

As these values come under attack from all sides, we must reaffirm them more strongly than ever.

We will stand firm every day and everywhere against antisemitism, bigotry and hatred of all kinds.

The world failed all those who died, and those who continue to suffer as a result of the Holocaust.

We cannot fail them again by allowing their stories to be forgotten.

Thank you.

Read more...

Defining moments for women in 2019

  • 07 January 2020 |

From the first all-woman spacewalk to Sudanese women leading the country’s revolution, the last 12 months have seen some incredible achievements by and for women.
Next year, 2020, is expected to be an even bigger year for women’s rights worldwide.

It will mark several milestones, such as the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, the most progressive global agenda for women’s rights adopted by 189 countries in 1995, and five years since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, among others. Women’s rights can’t wait, won’t wait.

We’re taking a look back at some of the memorable moments for gender equality and women’s rights around the world:

NASA Astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch took part in the first all-women spacewalk in October when they ventured out of the International Space Station to replace a power controller.

In March, a planned all-women spacewalk had to be postponed when the team realized NASA didn’t have two appropriately sized spacesuits for women indicative of the legacy of sexism that women in STEM fields face.

gretatunberg
Greta Tunberg outside of UN summit in New York. File photo

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old activist from Sweden, became the face of a global movement for climate change in 2019.

Thunberg’s movement started with her skipping school and camping out in front of the Swedish Parliament, demanding action to protect the planet for future generations, and grew to a global strike.

In September 2019, Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic on an emissions-free boat to speak at the UN Climate Summit in New York, where she condemned world leaders for their lack of action.


“You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you?” she said. “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet, I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing.”

Esther Duflo, 46, won the Nobel Prize in Economics, alongside her husband Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer. Duflo and her colleagues worked on an approach to alleviate global poverty and explored the causes of poverty, and how those living in poverty respond to education, healthcare, agriculture and other programmes.

firstblackhole
The first direct image of a black hole, captured by the Event Horizon Telescope. Credit: UN Women article

The world got its first image of a black hole in April, thanks to Katie Bouman, a 29 year-old PhD candidate in the US. Bouman and her team created the algorithm that led to the image of a supermassive black hole in the Messier 87 galaxy. The image will help revolutionize the understanding of black holes going forward.

Women athletes had a record-breaking year in 2019 too, setting up whole new batch of role-models for girls around the world and proving that women can be just as (or even more) successful than any man in sport.

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and Brazilian soccer superstar Marta scored her 17th World Cup goal, making her the top-scorer in tournament history for both men and women. In celebration of her record-breaking goal, Marta pointed to her cleat, where an equal sign in pink and blue signified her commitment to gender equality in sport and beyond.

In April, a photo of Alaa Salah, dressed in white and standing atop a car leading protest chants, went viral; just days before the President of Sudan was arrested. Women and youth were the driving force of the movement in Sudan, representing more than 70 per cent of the protestors. In October 2019, Salah addressed the UN Security Council, calling on the international community to ensure women’s meaningful participation in the transition process going forward.

Source: United Nations featured stories ( 17 December 2019)

Read the full story 

Read more...

Human Rights Day celebration with young advocates

  • 02 January 2020 |

“Youth stand up for the right to work” was the theme of the Human Rights Day seminar co-hosted by the UNIC and Human Rights Development of Trinidad and Tobago (HRDTT) at the Centre on 10 December 2019.  

Against the backdrop of an exhibit that linked the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 20 youth participants and civil society representatives shared their own experiences and explored personal actions to advance the right to work.  

The Session began with a review of entitlements outlined in UDHR Article 23, such as the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work, and to protection against unemployment. The seminar’s facilitator - HRDTT President Raavohn Langaigne – then led a discussion on the issue in its range of dimensions (including age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability).  Participants also described their advocacy for change and, more specifically, the actions they were taking as individuals to promote the right to work.  

Discussants included young activists engaged on gender, youth, disability and cultural issues; and emerging human rights advocates from the El Dorado East Secondary School. Towards the end of the event and in keeping with the global 2019 Human Rights Day theme, these students spoke out on the actions they would take in support of the right to work and all human rights. 

The seminar was streamed live on Facebook. View it here:

http://bit.ly/2QpCZrI and http://bit.ly/2ZPHXBa

Read more...

Rise in Caribbean children displaced by storms shows climate crisis is a child rights issue: UNICEF

  • 06 December 2019 |

The number of Caribbean children displaced by storms has risen approximately six-fold in the past five years, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reveals in a new report released on Friday.

Catastrophic tropical cyclones and hurricanes uprooted an estimated 761,000 children in the region between 2014 and 2018, which also was the hottest five-year period on record.

The preceding five-year period, 2009 to 2013, saw some 175,000 Caribbean youngsters displaced.

“This report is a stark reminder that the climate crisis is a child rights crisis,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

“Children in storm and flood-prone nations around the world are among the most vulnerable to having their lives and rights upended. They are already feeling the impacts of climate change, so governments and the international community should act now to mitigate its most devastating consequences.” 

Put children at heart of climate action

UNICEF recalled that the Caribbean was slammed by a series of catastrophic tropical cyclones or hurricanes between 2016 and 2018, including four Category 5 storms.

The agency has been providing lifesaving assistance for children and families across the Caribbean affected by the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

More than 400,000 children were displaced that year alone.

The report, Children Uprooted in the Caribbean: How stronger hurricanes linked to a changing climate are driving child displacement (https://www.unicef.org/reports/children-uprooted-caribbean-2019), warns that without urgent climate action, displacement levels are likely to remain high in the coming decades.

UNICEF is calling on Governments to put children at the heart of climate change strategies and response plans, and to protect them from its impacts.

Authorities also are urged to provide displaced children with protection and access to education, healthcare and other essential services, among other recommendations.

 

 

Read more...

Message on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

  • 01 November 2019 |

Freedom of expression and free media are essential to fostering understanding, bolstering democracy and advancing our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 

In recent years, however, there has been a rise in the scale and number of attacks against the physical safety of journalists and media workers, and of incidents infringing upon their ability to do their vital work, including threats of prosecution, arrest, imprisonment, denial of journalistic access and failures to investigate and prosecute crimes against them. 

The proportion of women among fatalities has also risen, and women journalists increasingly face gendered forms of violence, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault and threats. 

When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price.  Without the ability to protect journalists, our ability to remain informed and contribute to decision-making is severely hampered.  Without journalists able to do their jobs in safety, we face the prospect of a world of confusion and disinformation. 

On this International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, let us stand up together for journalists, for truth and for justice.

Read more...

‘When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole, pay a price’, UN chief

  • 01 November 2019 |

“Without journalists able to do their jobs in safety, we face the prospect of a world of confusion and disinformation”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has warned in a statement released ahead of the International Day to End Impunity Against Journalists, which falls on 2 November.

“When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price”, added the UN chief. “Without the ability to protect journalists, our ability to remain informed and contribute to decision-making, is severely hampered”.

Killings and attacks on the rise


A new study from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, underscores the risks that journalists face, showing that almost 90 per cent of those found responsible for the deaths of more than eleven hundred of them, between 2006 and 2018, have not been convicted.

The report, “Intensified Attacks, New Defences”, also notes that killings of journalists have risen by some 18 per cent in the past five years (2014-2018), compared to the previous five-year period.

The deadliest countres for journalists, according to the statistics, are Arab States, where almost a third of the killings took place. The Latin American and Caribbean region (26 per cent), and Asian and Pacific States (24 per cent) are the next most dangerous.

Journalists are ofen murdered for their reporting on politics, crime and corruption, and this is reflected in the study, which reveals that, in the past two years (2017-2018), more than half of journalist fatalities were in non-conflict zones.

In his statement, the Secretary-General noted the rise in the scale and number of attacks on journalists and media workers, as well as incidents that make their work much harder, including “threats of prosecution, arrest, imprisonment, denial of journalistic access and failures to investigate and prosecute crimes against them”.

A high-profile example is the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017. The case is being followed by independent UN human rights expert Agnès Callamard, among others, who has suggested that too little has been done by the Maltese authorities to investigate the killing.

On Friday, as Haiti continued to face a protracted, violent crisis that has led to the deaths of some forty-two people, and eighty-six injured, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on all of those involved in the violence to refrain from targeting journalists, and respect the freedom of the media to do its job: at least one journalist is among those killed, and nine other reporters have been injured, according to Ms. Bachelet’s Office (OHCHR).

Keep Truth Alive


This year UNESCO has launched the #KeepTruthAlive social media campaign, which draws attention to the dangers faced by journalists close to their homes, highlighting the fact that 93 per cent of those killed work locally, and featuring an interactive map created for the campaign, which provides a vivid demonstration of the scale and breadth of the dangers faced by journalists worldwide.

The Day is being commemorated with a flagship event in Mexico City next week on 7 November – an international seminar entitled “Strengthening regional cooperation to end impunity for crimes and attacks against journalists in Latin America” – and events are also taking place in 15 other countries, including an exhibition of press cartoons, under the headline: “Draw so as not to write them off”, at UN HQ in New York, which honours the memories of French journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, murdered in Mali on 2 November 2013.

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed

Contact

Email: unic.portofspain@unic.org 

Telephone: 1(868) 623 8438 or 623 4813

Fax: 1 (868) 623 4332 

Address: 

2nd Floor Bretton Hall, 16 Victoria Avenue, 

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago