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Showing posts with label Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Show all posts

Friday, July 15, 2016

Human Rights Central to Global Agenda

Reigniting Commitments to Human Rights

Anarchists, non-state actors, international NGOs, corporations and governments themselves must all embrace, respect and understand the international ideals of human rights to become responsible and sustainable. Zero tolerance for human rights violators must exist universally. There are no legal guidelines for the ownership of a human individual except through their own voluntary service as a citizen of a nation, employee of a corporation or as a member of a civil society.

Human rights are not ‘Abstract Ideas,’ must be main tool in meeting development targets – Ban

12 July 2016 – Far greater emphasis must be placed on human rights as the international community continues to work towards implementing the agreed-upon sustainable development agenda, because it is the most powerful driver of peace and development, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

“Human rights are norms and standards, against which institutions and Governments are measured. But they are not just abstract ideas, or aspirations to be addressed once peace and development have been attained. They call for extremely specific and concrete actions on the part of States and other authorities,” the Secretary-General said at the opening of a High-Level Thematic Debate of the General Assembly on human rights at the center of the global agenda, taking place today and tomorrow at UN Headquarters in New York.

“In our deeply connected world, all Member States have a shared best interest in promoting individual and collective human rights as a basis for global peace and prosperity,” the Secretary-General added.

The thematic debate consists of an opening segment, a plenary debate with ministerial-level participation, and interactive segments focusing on tackling discrimination and inequalities, strengthening governance, the rule of law and access to justice; and enabling active participation in society. Among the participants are high-level representatives from States, the UN system, regional organizations, human rights bodies and mechanisms, civil society, think tanks and the private sector.

International human rights norms being eroded, warns UN chief

In his remarks, the UN chief highlighted that while much of the world is benefiting from enormous progress in their economic, social, cultural, civil, and political situations, at the same time, racism and homelessness are rising in Europe; organized violence has taken root in parts of Latin America; deadly conflict continues in the Middle East; and economic, social and political marginalization affect millions of people in Asia.

“Some governments are sharply restricting people’s ability to exercise their rights, attacking fundamental freedoms and dismantling judicial institutions that limit executive power. Others are detaining and imprisoning human rights defenders and clamping down on civil society and non-governmental organizations, preventing them from performing their vital work,” the UN chief said.

At the same time, Mr. Ban said, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law is being eroded, as the world faces the highest numbers of people displaced by conflict since the World War II and abuses continue against civilians who are starved, denied humanitarian aid and prevented from moving to places of safety.

“When does this end?” he asked, adding: “The answer must be that it ends now. Governments must meet their responsibilities. The foremost tool for this change is human rights – the most powerful driver of peace and development.”

Noting that Member States have already made a “tremendous step forward” by unanimously agreeing in 2015 on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Secretary-General also said that he launched the Human Rights Up Front initiative in late 2013 as a way to bring together the three pillars of the UN – peace and security, development and human rights – to ensure that human rights concerns are prioritized, and to bring the Charter back to the forefront of the daily activities of the entire UN system.
Human rights ‘at the heart’ of UN 2030 Agenda

“Human rights are at the heart of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), from ending poverty to reducing inequality and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies,” the Secretary-General said.

“In this crucial first year of implementation, let us recognize the need for far greater emphasis on human rights across all our work,” he added.

Furthermore, the Secretary-General said that the evidence in country after country over many years shows that repressive policies against violent extremism and terrorism make nobody safe.

“When Governments undertake actions under the guise of counter-terrorism that disregard human rights, they reinforce feelings of exclusion and grievance, increase resentment and fuel extremism and terrorism around the world,” Mr. Ban said.

In that vein, the Secretary-General said that his Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism makes clear that preventing extremism and promoting human rights go hand-in-hand.

“Human rights offer States a clear path towards stability and prosperity. They build confidence and loyalty, as well as thriving political and economic institutions,” Mr. Ban said. “They are an indispensable part of our quest for a safer and more stable world, with dignity for all.”

Assembly President urges world leaders to ‘reignite’ commitment to human rights

Also speaking at the opening of the debate was General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft, who highlighted that less than a year ago, all 193 Member States of the Assembly had adopted the 2030 Agenda, providing hope that the world could be transformed for the better.

“But if today’s leaders do not reignite their commitment to human rights; reject the rhetoric of division and hate; and address the drivers of today’s tensions – joblessness, inequalities, climate change, and abuses of power – then that hope will quickly give way to despair,” he stressed.

For its part, the thematic debate serves as an opportunity to examine the UN’s own shortcomings in the area of human rights, and to understand how the emphasis on human rights in the 2030 Agenda and the recent reviews on peace and security impact on the Organization’s overall approach to the subject.

“We must not allow the culture of human rights that has been created these past seventy years to unravel,” Mr. Lykketoft said.

“In addition to the efforts of individual Member States and others, we must ensure that the United Nations, 70 years after its founding, continues to be a bulwark against threats to human rights,” he added.

Republished from UN News Center

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

193 Nations in Agreement with Global Agenda

Consensus Reached on New Sustainable Development Agenda to be adopted by World Leaders in September

Ambitious new agenda would end poverty by 2030 and universally promote shared economic prosperity, social development and environmental protection

The 193 Member States of the United Nations reached agreement today on the outcome document that will constitute the new sustainable development agenda that will be adopted this September by world leaders at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York.

Concluding a negotiating process that has spanned more than two years and has featured the unprecedented participation of civil society, countries agreed to an ambitious agenda that features 17 new sustainable development goals that aim to end poverty, promote prosperity and people’s well-being while protecting the environment by 2030.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the agreement, saying it “encompasses a universal, transformative and integrated agenda that heralds an historic turning point for our world.”

“This is the People’s Agenda, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind. It seeks to ensure peace and prosperity, and forge partnerships with people and planet at the core. The integrated, interlinked and indivisible 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the people’s goals and demonstrate the scale, universality and ambition of this new Agenda.”

Mr. Ban said the September Summit, where the new agenda will be adopted, “will chart a new era of Sustainable Development in which poverty will be eradicated, prosperity shared and the core drivers of climate change tackled.”

He added that the UN System stands ready to support the implementation of the new agenda, which builds on the successful outcome of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, and which, he said, will also contribute to achieve a meaningful agreement in the COP21 in Paris in December.

More than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the Sustainable Development Summit at the UN headquarters in New York between 25 to 27 September to formally adopt the outcome document of the new sustainable agenda.

The new sustainable development agenda builds on the success of the Millennium Development Goals, which helped more than 700 million people escape poverty. The eight Millennium Development Goals, adopted in 2000, aimed at an array of issues that included slashing poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality, and access to water and sanitation by 2015.

The new sustainable development goals, and the broader sustainablity agenda, go much further, addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people.

The preamble of the 29-page text, “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” states, “We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet.” It continues, “We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.”

Rio+20 and the intergovernmental process

At the Rio+20 Conference of 2012, Member States agreed to launch a process to develop a set of sustainable development goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals. The Millennium Development Goals have proven that goal-setting can lift millions out of poverty, improve well-being and provide vast new opportunities for better lives. It was agreed that the new goals would be global in nature and universally applicable to all countries while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities.

The negotiations were co-facilitated by the UN Permanent Representative of Ireland, Ambassador David Donohue, and the UN Permanent Representative of Kenya, Ambassador Macharia Kamau, over two years. The inclusive and transparent consultations by Member States, with the strong engagement of civil society and other stakeholders, have served as a basis for the conclusion of the intergovernmental negotiations on the emerging universal and people-centred agenda.

Core elements of the agreed outcome document

The outcome document highlights poverty eradication as the overarching goal of the new development agenda and has at its core the integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. The emerging development agenda is unique in that it calls for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income. Member States pledge that as they embark on this collective journey, no one will be left behind. The ‘five Ps’—people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership—capture the broad scope of the agenda.

The 17 sustainable goals and 169 targets aim at tackling key systemic barriers to sustainable development such as inequality, unsustainable consumption and production patterns, inadequate infrastructure and lack of decent jobs. The environmental dimension of sustainable

development is covered in the goals on oceans and marine resources and on ecosystems and biodiversity, bringing core issues into the goal and target framework.

The means of implementation outlined in the outcome document match its ambitious goals and focus on finance, technology and capacity development. In addition to a stand-alone goal on the means of implementation for the new agenda, specific means are tailored to each of the sustainable development goals.

Member States stressed that the desired transformations will require a departure from “business as usual” and that intensified international cooperation on many fronts will be required. The agenda calls for a revitalized, global partnership for sustainable development, including for multi-stakeholder partnerships. The agenda also calls for increased capacity-building and better data and statistics to measure sustainable development.

An effective follow-up and review architecture – a core element of the outcome document – will be critical to support the implementation of the new agenda. The High Level Political Forum on sustainable development, set up after the Rio+20 Conference, will serve as the apex forum for follow up and review and will thus play a central role. The General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and specialized agencies will also be engaged in reviewing progress in specific areas.

Based on the outcome document, the agenda will include a Technology Facilitation Mechanism to support the new goals, based on multi-stakeholder collaboration between Member States, civil society, business, the scientific community, and the UN system of agencies. The Mechanism, which was agreed at the Addis Conference in July, will have an inter-agency task team, a forum on science, technology and innovation, and an on-line platform for collaboration.

The successful outcome of the Addis Conference gave important positive momentum to the last stretch of negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda. It is expected that the consensus reached on the outcome document will provide momentum for the negotiations on a new binding climate change treaty to culminate at the Climate Change Conference in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015.

The draft agreement can be found at

For further information, please contact Sharon Birch, UN Department of Public Information.

1 212 963-0564, e: and Francyne Harrigan, 1 917 367-5414 e: