19 Apr 2017
Stéphane Dujarric, the Spokesman for the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, expressed regret over the April 9 referendum on renaming the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia into “the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania.”
Responding to questions at a press briefing on April 11, Stéphane Dujarric noted that the United Nations reiterates its “previous calls for the participants in the Geneva International Discussions to engage constructively in making tangible progress and to refrain from any unilateral action that may adversely impact regional peace and security and undermine the work of the discussions.” “We regret any such recent unilateral actions,” he added.Continue Reading...
10 Mar 2017
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has outlined a new victim-centered approach to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse in a new report “Special Measures for the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA): A New Approach” that calls for financial penalties for failure to investigate allegations and bans on alcohol and fraternization for peacekeepers. In his report, Guterres proposed that payments to countries that fail to investigate allegations involving their troops should be withheld, and that those amounts could be instead directed to a victims' trust fund.Continue Reading...
28 Feb 2017
Note to Correspondents in response to questions on the announced closure of crossing points along the Inguri River, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, has the following to say:
We regret the recently announced plans to close two additional crossing points along the Inguri River, Georgia, which will be detrimental to the freedom of movement and overall well-being of the population, including school children, on both sides of the administrative boundary line, especially those living in the Gali District. We join other international partners in calling for the continued functioning of the existing crossing points to ensure the freedom of movement, including humanitarian crossings. We underline previous calls for all the participants in the Geneva International Discussions to engage constructively in making tangible progress and to refrain from any unilateral actions that may adversely impact regional peace and security and undermine the work of those Discussions.Continue Reading...
09 Feb 2017
“Oladi” (a type of pancake) is one of the most popular pastries in Georgia. It requires little time to prepare and is very tasty, which is why almost every family makes it quite often. The Kvitia sisters, Nona and Nana have been baking oladis since childhood. Later on, baking them became their first source of income.
In 1992, due to the armed conflict in Abkhazia, Nona and Nana, aged 11 and 9 at the time, had to leave their home and move from Ochamchire district to the village of Ingiri in western Georgia. They found shelter with their cousin Inga Chokoraia, whose home was shared with many other relatives displaced from Abkhazia. Facing financial hardships, the three cousins came up with the idea of baking and selling oladis. Nona Kvitia recalls:
“We were too young, but we started up our business out of necessity. First we left the baked goods with our acquaintances to sell in the marketplace. We were avoiding people and did not want to be seen. Eventually, we realized that the oladis were very popular. We became famous, and started selling to shops. After some time, we got active in other fields of work but would always go back to baking when we needed to.”
06 Feb 2017
Female genital mutilation denies women and girls their dignity, endangers their health, and causes needless pain and suffering, with consequences that endure for a lifetime and can even be fatal. Sustainable development demands full human rights for all women and girls. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development promises an end to this practice by 2030. On this Day of Zero Tolerance, let us build on positive momentum and commit to intensifying global action against this heinous human rights violation for the sake of all affected women and girls, their communities, and our common future.
27 Jan 2017
Today, we honour the victims of the Holocaust, an incomparable tragedy in human history.
The world has a duty to remember that the Holocaust was a systematic attempt to eliminate the Jewish people and so many others.
It would be a dangerous error to think of the Holocaust as simply the result of the insanity of a group of criminal Nazis. On the contrary, the Holocaust was the culmination of millennia of hatred, scapegoating and discrimination targeting the Jews, what we now call anti-Semitism.
Tragically, and contrary to our resolve, anti-Semitism continues to thrive. We are also seeing a deeply troubling rise in extremism, xenophobia, racism and anti-Muslim hatred. Irrationality and intolerance are back.
This is in complete contrast to the universal values enshrined in the United Nations Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We can never remain silent or indifferent when human beings are suffering.
01 Jan 2017
António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, took office on 1st January 2017.
Having witnessed the suffering of the most vulnerable people on earth, in refugee camps and in war zones, the Secretary-General is determined to make human dignity the core of his work, and to serve as a peace broker, a bridge-builder and a promoter of reform and innovation.
Prior to his election as Secretary-General, Mr. Guterres served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, heading one of the world’s foremost humanitarian organizations during some of the most serious displacement crises in decades. The conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and the crises in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Yemen, led to a huge rise in UNHCR’s activities as the number of people displaced by conflict and persecution rose from 38 million in 2005 to over 60 million in 2015.