Every woman and every girl has the right to a life free of violence. Yet this rupture of human rights occurs in a variety of ways in every community. It particularly affects those who are most marginalized and most vulnerable.
It is fitting that this year’s conference of parties (on climate change, COP 23) is led by Fiji, a nation on the frontlines.Last month I visited other small islands facing the impacts of a warming world: Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica. The hurricane damage was beyond belief. The catastrophic effects of climate change are upon us. Floods, fires, extreme storms and drought are growing in intensity and frequency.
When we discuss global interconnection in relation to energy, we are at the centre of the two key words that express our global concerns - sustainability and inclusivity.
I will travel to the Central African Republic early next week to spend United Nations Day with a peacekeeping operation in order to pay tribute to peacekeepers across the world.
As you know, we are coming off a jam-packed High-level week and opening of the General Assembly. Some of the most important speeches during that period came from leaders of Caribbean nations reeling from back-to-back hurricanes.
I am here in a spirit of gratitude and humility for the trust you have placed in me to serve the world’s peoples. “We the peoples”, and our United Nations, face grave challenges. Our world is in trouble. People are hurting and angry. They see insecurity rising, inequality growing, conflict spreading and climate changing.
Twenty years ago, when I was starting my functions as Prime Minister of Portugal, the world was surfing a wave of optimism. The Cold War had ended, technological prosperity was in full swing, the internet was spreading and there was the idea that globalisation would not only increase global wealth, but that it would trickle down and would benefit everybody in our planet.
Allow me first of all to express my deep gratitude to all the colleagues that have worked hard – in the Secretariat, in the Agencies, Funds and Programmes – to allow for this report to be ready on time. And to the leader of the team – the Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed – who has been not only the inspiration, but also the centre of management and strength to make things happen, and to make things happen with the required ambition and with the required detail.
The terrible bloodshed in Syria has been going on for over two and a half years. It has caused one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent history, with more than half of Syria’s pre-war population now needing humanitarian assistance for their survival.