The Secretary-General’s written message on International Women’s Day New York, 8 March 2017

Secretary-General António Guterres. Photo: World Economic Forum/Boris Baldinger (file)

Secretary-General António Guterres. Photo: World Economic Forum/Boris Baldinger (file)

Women’s rights are human rights. But in these troubled times, as our world becomes more unpredictable and chaotic, the rights of women and girls are being reduced, restricted and reversed.

Empowering women and girls is the only way to protect their rights and make sure they can realize their full potential.

Historic imbalances in power relations between men and women, exacerbated by growing inequalities within and between societies and countries, are leading to greater discrimination against women and girls. Around the world, tradition, cultural values and religion are being misused to curtail women’s rights, to entrench sexism and defend misogynistic practices.

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INCB Report calls for drug policies that take women into account, as countries register disproportionate rise in overdoses among females

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UNCG Retreat

UNCG Retreat (South Africa). Photo : UNIC

UNCG Retreat (South Africa). Photo : UNIC

UNIC Pretoria hosted the UNCG Retreat to discuss priorities for 2017. The purpose of the retreat was to develop a work plan with clear activities for the year ahead. The meeting was well attended with representatives from Office of the Resident Coordinator , International Labour Organization (ILO), UNICEF, UN Women, UNHCR, UNEP and the UN Information Centre (UNIC).

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International Mother Language Day 21 February

UNESCO Director-General’s Message

On the occasion of International Mother Language Day, UNESCO restates its wholehearted commitment to linguistic diversity and multilingualism. Languages express who we are, they structure our thoughts and identities. There can be no authentic dialogue or effective international cooperation without respect for linguistic diversity, which opens up true understanding of every culture. Access to the diversity of languages can awaken the curiosity and mutual understanding of peoples. That is why learning languages is at one and the same time a promise of peace, of innovation and of creativity.

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Statement attributable to the UN Secretary-General’s Spokesperson on The Gambia

unflagStatement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the occasion of The Gambia’s  notification of rescission of its withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 

On 10 February, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of The Gambia to the United Nations delivered to the Secretary-General notification of the country’s rescission of its withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The Gambia had formally notified the Secretary-General of its withdrawal from the Rome Statute on 10 November 2016 — a decision which the Secretary-General deeply regretted.

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