United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres – Biography

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, at UN Headquarters in New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten

António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, took office on 1st January 2017.

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Syrian Crisis – United Nations Response

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A Weekly Update from the UN Department of Public Information – No. 177/ 21 December 2016 

Security Council approves UN monitors for Aleppo evacuations

Alarmed at the “devastating” humanitarian crisis in Aleppo, where perhaps thousands of civilians remain trapped, the Security Council on 19 December requested the United Nations and other relevant institutions to carry out “adequate, neutral monitoring and direct observation on evacuations from the eastern districts” of the war-battered city.

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The Secretary-General – Message on International Human Solidarity Day,20 December 2016

unflagThe world has achieved significant progress in human development over the past two decades. The global poverty rate fell by more than half.  People are living longer and healthier lives, and are better educated. 

Despite these and other advances, prosperity has not been shared by all. Inequalities, extreme poverty, unemployment, social exclusion and environmental degradation continue to be prominent features of societies around the world. Discrimination and prejudice remain major barriers to building inclusive societies. Many vulnerable social groups find their situation worsening. The impacts of climate change will fall most heavily on those who did least to cause the problem.
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THE SECRETARY-GENERAL – MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS DAY, 18 December 2016

unflagThis has been another turbulent year for refugees and migrants.  We have seen the continued devastating effect of armed conflict on civilian populations, leading to death, destruction and displacement.  We have witnessed the unacceptable loss of thousands of lives of people in transit in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.  And, to add insult to injury, we have witnessed the rise of populist movements that seek to alienate and expel migrants and refugees, and to blame them for various ills of society.

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UNIC Pretoria observes 3rd Palestinian Cultural Week in South Africa

pal9The 29th November of each year is significantly observed as the UN international Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This follows the adoption of the resolution 181(II) by the General Assembly in 1947 partitioning Palestine into two states. That resolution provided for the establishment in Palestine of a “Jewish State” and an “Arab State”. Of the two States to be created under this resolution, only one, Israel, has so far come into being.

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