UN Secretary-General’s Message on World AIDS Day, 1 December 2018

Thirty years after the first World AIDS Day, the response to HIV stands at a crossroads. Which way we turn may define the course of the epidemic—whether we will end AIDS by 2030, or whether future generations will carry on bearing the burden of this devastating disease.

More than 77 million people have become infected with HIV, and more than 35 million have died of an AIDS-related illness. Huge progress has been made in diagnosis and treatment, and prevention efforts have avoided millions of new infections.

Yet the pace of progress is not matching global ambition.  New HIV infections are not falling rapidly enough. Some regions are lagging behind, and financial resources are insufficient. Stigma and discrimination are still holding people back, especially key populations— including gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgenders, people who inject drugs, prisoners and migrants—and young women and adolescent girls.  Moreover, one in four people living with HIV do not know that they have the virus, impeding them from making informed decisions on prevention, treatment and other care and support services.

There is still time — to scale-up testing for HIV; to enable more people to access treatment; to increase resources needed to prevent new infections; and to end the stigma.  At this critical juncture, we need to take the right turn now.

New UN Publications: October 2018

The Power of Choice: Reproductive Rights and the Demographic Transition; State of World Population 2018.
Your choices can change the world. The power to choose the number, timing and spacing of children can bolster economic and social development. The global trend towards smaller families is a reflection of people making reproductive choices. The report found that no country can claim that all of its citizens enjoy reproductive rights at all times. The unmet need for modern contraception prevents hundreds of millions of women from choosing smaller families. The report classifies all countries in the world by the current dynamics of their populations’ fertility. It also makes specific recommendations for policies and programmes that would help each country increase reproductive choices.

Bibliographic info:
Publisher: UNFPA
ISBN: 978-1-61800-032-3
pp. 152


World Economic and Social Survey 2018: Technologies for Sustainable Development.
The World Economic and Social Survey is the flagship publication on major development issues. This year’s survey presents a case for harnessing frontier technologies to achieve the shared vision of sustainable development. The survey highlights a few of the remaining challenges for the planet, people and prosperity to achieve sustainable development. It also discusses the promises and challenges of a few frontier technologies in developed country contexts while highlighting the development divide—particularly the technological divide—that many low-income and vulnerable countries face in adopting frontier technologies.

Bibliographic info:
Publisher: UN DESA
ISBN: 978-92-1-047224-1


The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018.
Jointly produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization, this report monitors progress towards the targets of ending hunger (SDG Target 2.1) and all forms of malnutrition (SDG Target 2.2) by 2030. The 2018 edition highlights emerging challenges to food and nutrition security, and issues an urgent appeal to scale up the resilience and adaptive capacity of communities facing climate variability.

Bibliographic info:
ISBN: 978-92-5-130571-3
pp. 183

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UN Secretary-General’s Remarks on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 19 November 2018

I am very pleased to be with you to discuss this essential topic.

Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic.

It is a moral affront to all women and girls and to us all, a mark of shame on all our societies, and a major obstacle to inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.

At its core, violence against women and girls in all its forms is the manifestation of a profound lack of respect – a failure by men to recognize the inherent equality and dignity of women.

It is an issue of fundamental human rights.

The violence can take many forms – from domestic violence to trafficking, from sexual violence in conflict to child marriage, genital mutilation and femicide.

It is an issue that harms the individual but also has far-reaching consequences for families and for society.

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New UN Publications: September 2018

Antimicrobial Resistance Policy Review and Development Framework.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a long-standing global health concern. This Policy Review and Development Framework is for government policy-makers and officials and other stakeholders in AMR and AMU (antimicrobial use) policy for food-animal production within a One Health approach. It offers a practical guide for countries to systematically identify, assess, and strengthen AMR and AMU policies. The Framework is designed to help countries review their national policies and provides examples from countries that facilitate effective national responses to AMR.

Bibliographic info:
Publisher: FAO
ISBN: 978-92-5-130947-6
pp. 58



Child marriage: A mapping of programmes and partners in twelve countries in East and Southern Africa.
Child marriage can have devastating consequences for individual girls and their future children. This report presents the results of a mapping of programmes and partnerships that seek to prevent and mitigate the effects of child marriage in East and Southern Africa. The mapping was guided by the results framework used in the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage. The framework focuses on five outcomes that are designed to create integrated and systematic programme interventions.

Bibliographic info:
Publisher: UNFPA



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UN Secretary-General’s Message on World Tsunami Awareness Day, 5 November 2018

Tsunamis are rare but devastating.  I saw this first-hand during my recent visit to Sulawesi, Indonesia, shortly after the earthquake and tsunami of 1 October.  More than 2,000 people died and thousands more were harmed or displaced.

As well as struggling to deal with the losses and trauma, the people of Sulawesi will need to recover from the economic losses caused by this disaster.  Reducing economic losses is a key target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and is vital for eradicating extreme poverty.

Over the past two decades, tsunamis have accounted for almost 10 per cent of economic losses from disasters, setting back development gains, especially in countries that border the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

World Tsunami Awareness Day is an opportunity to emphasize again the importance of disaster prevention and preparedness, including early warning, public education, science to better understand and predict tsunamis, and development that takes account of risk in seismic zones and exposed coastal areas. [Ends]


UN Secretary-General’s Message on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, 2 November 2018

In just over a decade, more than a thousand journalists have been killed while carrying out their indispensable work. Nine out of ten cases are unresolved, with no one held accountable.

Female journalists are often at greater risk of being targeted not only for their reporting but also because of their gender, including through the threat of sexual violence.

This year alone, at least 88 journalists have been killed.

Many thousands more have been attacked, harassed, detained or imprisoned on spurious charges, without due process.

This is outrageous. This should not become the new normal.

When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price.

I am deeply troubled by the growing number of attacks and the culture of impunity.

I call on Governments and the international community to protect journalists and create the conditions they need to do their work.

On this day, I pay tribute to journalists who do their jobs every day despite intimidation and threats. Their work – and that of their fallen colleagues — reminds us that truth never dies. Neither must our commitment to the fundamental right to freedom of expression.

Reporting is not a crime.

Together, let us stand up for journalists, for truth and for justice. [Ends]

You may download the Secretary-General’s video message at: https://bit.ly/2SxOufZ


UN Secretary-General’s Message for World Cities Day, 31 October 2018

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the New Urban Agenda together provide a roadmap for a more sustainable and resilient world.  How our cities develop will have significant implications for realizing the future we want.

This year’s World Cities Day focuses on resilience and sustainability.  Every week, 1.4 million people move to cities.  Such rapid urbanization can strain local capacities, contributing to increased risk from natural and human made disasters.  But hazards do not need to become disasters.  The answer is to build resilience — to storms, floods, earthquakes, fires, pandemics and economic crises.

Cities around the world are already acting to increase resilience and sustainability.  Bangkok has built vast underground water storage facilities to cope with increased flood risk and save water for drier periods.  In Quito, the local government has reclaimed or protected more than 200,000 hectares of land to boost flood protection, reduce erosion and safeguard the city’s freshwater supply and biodiversity.  And in Johannesburg, the city is involving residents in efforts to improve public spaces so they can be safely used for recreation, sports, community events and services such as free medical care.

On World Cities Day, let us be inspired by these examples.  Let us work together to build sustainable and resilient cities that provide safety and opportunities for all.

UN Secretary-General’s Message for World Food Day, 16 October 2018

In our world of plenty, one person in nine does not have enough to eat.

About 820 million people still suffer from hunger.

Most of them are women.

Some 155 million children are chronically malnourished and may endure the effects of stunting for their entire lives.

And hunger causes almost half of the infant deaths worldwide.

This is intolerable.

On World Food Day, let us commit to a world without hunger — a world in which every person has access to a healthy, nutritious diet.

Zero hunger is about joining forces.

Countries and companies, institutions and individuals: we must each do our part towards sustainable food systems.

Today, we renew our commitment to uphold everyone’s fundamental right to food and to leave no one behind.

Thank you.



The year 2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR70).

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

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 To commemorate this anniversary (UDHR70), the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Manila is organizing a nationwide video competition on the theme, “WHAT HUMAN RIGHTS MEAN TO ME.”

This contest is being organized in partnership with Ad Rem Projects and SM Marketing.

UNIC Manila and its partners aim to engage Filipino youth, 13-18 years of age. This age group, which belongs to Generation 2030, stands to benefit immensely from human rights education that encourages individual action to contribute towards attaining not just human rights goals but also the Agenda 2030 for Development.

A youth-friendly and illustrated edition of the UDHR produced by the UN may be downloaded at: http://www.un.org/en/udhrbook/


UNIC Manila will encourage contestants to reflect on the rights and freedoms afforded by the UDHR and then to portray through video what these rights mean to them, their families, and/or their communities.

The video could also depict the importance with which they regard these fundamental rights and their commitment to these.

Contestants could likewise represent through their video, their aspirations for a future in which they themselves, their families and/or their communities have full enjoyment of human rights.

Video submissions should not focus on political commentary.


  1. This contest is a team competition. Each team will be composed of three persons, all of whom should be bona fide Filipino citizens, and between the ages of 13 and 18 years at the time of the competition. Entrants will be required to submit a scan of their birth certificate.
  2. Teams composed of fewer or more than three persons are not eligible to join the competition.
  3. Entries must be submitted on or before 10 November 2018, 11:59 PM.
    • Users must download and accomplish the Registration Form, scan it, and email it, along with the scan of the birth certificates of the 3 team members to unic.manila@unic.org. By signing the Registration Form, the Entrants agree to abide by the rules of the competition and the film guidelines and by the decision of the panel of judges.
    • Entrants can submit one (1) entry during the submission period.
    • All submitted entries will be stored on UNIC Manila’s Youtube channel but will not be visible to the public.
  1. Once all entries have been gathered, a Selection Team will screen all of the valid/verified entries in order to choose the Top 10 finalists.
  2. The Top 10 Finalists will be announced on 16 November 2018 on UNIC Manila’s Facebook Page and website. Entries will be scored according to the following criteria:
    • 40%Theme Integration – this will be based on the degree to which the entry faithfully captured and depicted the theme of the contest;
    • 25%: Creativity and originality – this will be based on the novelty and imagination of the entry’s approach to story-telling;
    • 25%: Production Value– this will be based on the entry’s production value, in terms of direction, cinematography, music and sound, editing, etc.;
    • 10%: Impact – this will be based on the compelling effect of the entry on its viewers, due both to its content and production value;

The shortlisted Entrants will be notified via email and phone using the contact details that they indicated in the registration form. 

  1. The Top 10 entries will be uploaded on UNIC Manila’s Facebook Page for public viewing and for online voting. Online voting will be held on 19-23 November 2018, and will end on 23 November 2018, 11:59 PM. Facebook users can only vote once during the whole voting period. It must be noted however that the selection of the top three entries will not be solely based on popularity on Facebook. The Facebook scores will form only 5% of the entries’ final scores.
  2. A Selection Committee will score the Top 10 Entries to determine the Top Three Teams.
  3. The criteria for selecting the Top Three Teams will be as follows:
    • 35%Theme Integration – this will be based on the degree to which the entry faithfully captured and depicted the theme of the contest;
    • 25%: Creativity and originality – this will be based on the novelty and imagination of the entry’s approach to story-telling;
    • 25%: Production Value– this will be based on the entry’s production value, in terms of direction, cinematography, music and sound, editing, etc.;
    • 10%: Impact – this will be based on the compelling effect of the entry on its viewers, due both to its content and production value;
    • 5%: Facebook Votes.
  4. The Top Three Teams will be announced on 29 November 2018 on UNIC Manila’s Facebook Page and website. The top three teams will be will be notified via email and phone using the contact details that they provided in the registration form.
  5. The Awards Ceremony will be held on 7 December 2018 at a public venue to be announced shortly.


  1. The contest is a team competition. Each team will be composed of three persons, all of whom should be bona fide Filipino citizens and between the ages of 13 and 18 years at the time of the competition. Entrants will be required to submit a scan of their birth certificate.
  2. Teams composed of fewer or more than three persons are not eligible to join the competition.
  3. Entrants must not be professional filmmakers. They must not have previously won any award in any Short Film competition, in the Philippines or in other countries.
  4. UN Staff and their relatives, and UN interns are disqualified from the competition.
  5. The submission period is from 12 October 2018 to 10 November 2018. The deadline for submission of entries is on 10 November 2018, 11:59 PM. Entries received after this date will not be considered.
  6. Entrants may submit only one (1) entry each.
  7. All entries must be submitted in digital format.
  8. The length of the video should not exceed 3 minutes, not including the opening and closing credits.
  9. The specifications for video submissions may be found at this link: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1722171?hl=en
  10. Entrants may use any genre (i.e. Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, Musical, etc.), but must fully and clearly depict the concept “What Human Rights Mean To Me” (as explained above) in its main story, dialogue, interactions, or visual elements.
  11. Films may be shot and edited using any device such as, but not limited to, professional filming devices like digital cameras, mobile devices (i.e. smart phones, tablets), desktop or laptop computers, and the like. The film’s final resolution should be acceptable enough for cinematic and television screening.
  12. No copyrighted materials (music, images, etc.) may be used for this contest unless the entrant owns the copyright or has a license to use the material for this contest. Written permission must be obtained and provided upon request for all copyrighted materials.
  13. All footage must be shot. Existing footage,  including but not limited to TV commercial and music videos, may not be used in any scene.
  14. Entries may use any language. However, subtitling in English is required.
  15. Content must comply with all local and national laws of the Philippines. Content must not (1) promote illegal behavior; (2) support racial, religious, sexual or other invidious prejudice; (3) advocate sexual or violent exploitation; (4) violate rights established by law or agreement; (5) invade the privacy of any person; or 6) be otherwise inappropriate as determined by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Manila in its sole and conclusive determination.
  16. Entries must be strictly independent films and not produced by commercial producers.
  17. Entrants may not—prior to the awards ceremony on 7 December 2018–publicly share or publish their entry in any manner and may not post or upload their entry to any website or video hosting site (including, but not limited to, Facebook, Youtube or Vimeo and other online or digital platforms). Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the disqualification of the entry.
  18. The ownership of the underlying intellectual property of the entry remains with the Entrant, with the following exceptions:
    • Entrants grant UNIC Manila the right to use their names, photographs, statements, quotes, testimonials, and video submissions for non-commercial promotional purposes without notification or further compensation.
    • Entrants grant UNIC Manila the right to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, and/or display the Entrant’s video without further compensation or notification to the entrant.
    • UNIC Manila maintains the right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, or exhibit the video for non-commercial promotional purposes on their website, at conferences, or at any other venues.
    • By submitting to this contest, the Entrant acknowledges that her/his work may become subject to public voting on the contest site.
  19. IF CHOSEN AS A FINALIST, Entrants must submit a signed/completed Actor Release Form for each person appearing in their video. The accomplished Actor Release Form should be scanned and emailed to: unic.manila@unic.org, or sent by post to: United Nations Information Centre Manila, 15/F Rockwell Business Center Sheridan, corner of United and Sheridan Streets, Mandaluyong City, 1554 Metro Manila, Philippines.
  20. The only compensation for submitting a video is the opportunity to be awarded a prize if the entry wins. UNIC Manila will pay filmmakers no additional compensation nor be liable to the filmmaker under any circumstances.
  21. The decision of the Board of Judges is final.

For any questions, you may reach us through the following:

Email: unic.manila@unic.org

Tel.: 632 902 9901; 632 902 2574




UN Secretary-General’s Message for the International Day of the Girl Child, 11 October 2018

Today, 600 million adolescent girls are preparing to enter a world of work transformed by innovation and automation. They are the largest generation in history and a vast source of ideas and solutions for all career fields. Yet far too often, girls are not given the space and opportunities they need to achieve their full potential. Multiple barriers include systematic discrimination, biases and lack of training.

We need concerted efforts to overcome the obstacles that mean that, for example, women make up less than 30 per cent of graduates in information and communications technology and occupy less than 30 per cent of research and development jobs worldwide

Negative gender stereotypes related to girls’ education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics begin as early as primary school, and have the devastating effect of making them doubt their own potential.

Although the number of girls attending school is the highest ever, many are still not getting the skills necessary for lifelong success. Moreover, it is estimated that five years from now, over one-third of the abilities considered important in today’s workforce will have changed.

We need to equip girls with transferable and lifelong skills such as critical thinking, creativity and digital awareness. Having role models will also be critical, especially in the sciences and other fields where the presence of women is sparse.

To help empower young people, I recently launched Youth2030, a strategy that aims to work with them, understand their needs and help put their ideas into action. On this International Day of the Girl, let us recommit to supporting every girl to develop her skills, enter the workforce on equal terms and reach her full potential.