Author Archives: teresadebuque

UN Secretary-General’s Message on World Humanitarian Day, 19 August 2018

We mark World Humanitarian Day every year on 19 August, to express solidarity with people affected by humanitarian crises and pay tribute to the humanitarian workers who help them.

This year’s commemoration marks the fifteenth anniversary since the attack on the United Nations in Baghdad, Iraq, in which 22 of our colleagues were killed. Since that tragedy, which led to this day’s designation as World Humanitarian Day, over 4,000 aid workers have been killed, injured, detained or kidnapped. That is an average of 300 fellow humanitarians killed, detained or injured every year.

Civilians in conflict zones also continue to be killed and maimed, deliberately or in indiscriminate attacks. Last year, the United Nations recorded the deaths or injuries of more than 26,000 civilians in attacks in just six countries: Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen.

Around the world, conflict is forcing record numbers of people from their homes, with over 65 million people now displaced. Children are recruited by armed groups and used to fight. Women are abused and humiliated. As humanitarian workers deliver aid and medical workers provide for those in need, they are all too often targeted or treated as threats.

On World Humanitarian Day, I call on global leaders to do everything in their power to protect people caught up in conflict.

And I call on all who are concerned to join our campaign at worldhumanitarianday.org to show that civilians are #NotATarget.

Together, we stand in solidarity with civilians in conflict, and with the humanitarian workers who risk their lives to help them.

[Ends]

Last interview with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein

The four-year mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, ends on 31 August 2018.

His last major interview with UN News went live today, 15 August (New York time).

The script of the interview is herein attached: 10 Aug 18 Zeid SCRIPT_FINAL

Below are the links to the UN News story, video (English) and podcast (English, 15 min.)
News link:
https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/08/1017052

Video link:

https://youtu.be/0-btEj2J2bM

Podcast link:
https://news.un.org/en/audio/2018/08/1017022

UN Secretary-General’s Message on the First International Day of Remembrance of, and tribute to, the Victims of Terrorism, 21 August 2018

Terrorism is one of the most challenging issues of our time and a serious threat to international peace and security. From Tajikistan to the United Kingdom, from Baghdad to Barcelona, these ruthless attacks have shaken us all to the core.  No country can consider itself immune, with almost every nationality in the world falling victim to terrorist attacks.

The United Nations itself is regularly targeted. Twenty-two people lost their lives in the attack on the headquarters of the United Nations mission in Iraq, which took place 15 years ago this week. Some of our peacekeeping missions are under constant threat.

But after terrorist attacks, we rarely hear about those who were killed and injured; the ordinary women, men, girls and boys, who were going about their daily business when their lives ended or were changed forever.  We rarely hear about their surviving families, friends and communities, who must learn to live with the burden of terrorism for their entire lives.

Today, the International day of Remembrance of, and Tribute to, the victims of terrorism, reminds us to stop and listen to the victims and survivors of terrorism, to raise up their voices and recognize the impact terrorism has on their lives.

We can all learn from their experiences. Communities around the world are demonstrating their resilience in response to terrorist attacks. They are countering terrorism and violent extremism in their everyday lives, in their schools, markets and places of worship.

Supporting victims and their families is a moral imperative, based on promoting, protecting and respecting their human rights. Caring for victims and survivors and amplifying their voices helps to challenge the narrative of hatred and division that terrorism aims to spread. We need to provide victims with long-term assistance, including financial, legal, medical and psychosocial support.

When we lift up the victims and survivors of terrorism, listen to their voices, respect their rights and provide them with support and justice, we are honouring our common bonds, and reducing the lasting damage done by terrorists to individuals, families and communities.

I thank those who are willing to speak out against terrorism every day. Your voices matter, and your courage in the face of adversity is a lesson to us all.

Today and every day, the United Nations stands in solidarity with you.

[Ends]

UN Secretary-General’s Remarks on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

20 March 2018

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination commemorates the Sharpeville massacre — the horrific killing of 69 people peacefully demonstrating against apartheid in South Africa.

The apartheid regime was based on institutionalized racial discrimination.

It was ultimately – and thankfully – consigned to history on the release from prison and accession to the presidency of Nelson Mandela, whose centennial we mark this year.

The memory of Sharpeville lives on in this annual UN observance, when we reaffirm our unequivocal rejection of all forms of racism, xenophobia and intolerance.

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UNIC Manila co-organizes peace concert to diffuse tensions in West Philippine Sea

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Manila is co-organizing a peace concert dubbed Not by Force but by Art on 20-23 April 2018 to encourage dialogue among claimant countries–China, Philippines, Vietnam, and Brunei, in the West Philippine Sea.

UNIC Manila announced this initiative at a press conference held on 5 March 2018 at the Manila Hotel, specifically at a weekly gathering of the press there called “Kapihan sa Manila Hotel” sponsored by Samahang Plaridel–an association of members of the local press.

UNIC Manila National Information Officer Teresa Debuque formed the panel of interviewees, along with representatives of the organizing committee, including Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, executive director, Earthsavers UNESCO DREAM Center/president, Philippine Center of the International Theatre Institute; and Harold Clavite, director-general, Philippine Information Agency.

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UN Secretary-General’s Message for World Radio Day, 13 February

Radio reaches the widest audience in the world.

In an era of dramatic advances in communications, radio retains its power to entertain, educate, inform and inspire.

It can unite and empower communities, and give voice to the marginalized.

This year, with the Winter Olympics now under way, we also recognize the many ways in which sports broadcasting brings people together around excitement and achievement.

On World Radio Day, let us celebrate both radio and sports as ways of helping people achieve their full potential.

 

UN Secretary-General’s Message for International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11 February

Both girls and boys have the potential to pursue their ambitions in science and mathematics, in school and at work.

But systemic discrimination means women occupy less than 30 percent of research and development jobs worldwide.

We need concerted, concrete efforts to overcome stereotypes and biases.

One starting point is banishing the predominantly male images of scientists and innovators on social media, in textbooks and in advertising.

We need to encourage and support girls and women achieve their full potential as scientific researchers and innovators.

Women and girls need this, and the world needs this, if we are to achieve our ambitions for sustainable development on a healthy planet.

Throughout history, from Hildegard of Bingen to Wangari Maathai, women scientists have built our world.

It’s time to support and invest in them.

 

UN recalls 1.5M children killed during Holocaust

(L-R: Mr. Lee Blumenthal, head of the Jewish community in the Philippines; Ms. Yulia Rachisnky-Spivakov, Deputy Head of Mission of the State of Israel in Manila; Director Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa, Department of Foreign Affairs-UNIO)

About 160 university students gathered at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) on 26 January 2018 to take part in a commemorative event recalling the memory of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust, or the systematic killing of Jews by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Organized by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Manila, the 2018 Holocaust remembrance event focused on the children of the Holocaust. It featured an exhibit opening, a student briefing and a film showing.

In a video message, shown during the event, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “Decades since the Second World War, we see the persistence of anti-Semitism and an increase in other forms of prejudice. And too often, vile views are moving from the margins to the mainstream of societies and politics. We must stand together against the normalization of hate.”

In the student briefing, Ms. Yulia Rachisnky-Spivakov, Deputy Chief of Mission of the State of Israel in Manila, said, “All of us today have a special obligation. An obligation to never lose sight of what went wrong and how it happened. And an obligation to be ever vigilant in the face of persistent anti-Semitism and other forms of hate in our time.”

Meanwhile, UNIC Manila National Information Officer Teresa Debuque enjoined the students to “remember never to forget what happened during the Holocaust” and to call out “Holocaust deniers who say that the Holocaust is a myth that was created by and perpetuated by the Jewish people.”

Earlier, the exhibit was opened by Ms. Rachisnky-Spivakov, Ms. Debuque, Ms. Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa, Director for Peace and Security of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and Mr. Lee Blumenthal, head of the Jewish community in the Philippines.

The exhibit, called “The Butterfly Project,” highlighted the stories of five Jewish children who lived and died during the Holocaust, including Anne Frank. The exhibit gets its name from an initiative of the same name that was started in 1996 by the Holocaust Museum in Houston. Students around the world were invited to express their empathy and hope through the creation of a butterfly. The Butterfly Project aims to teach social responsibility, respect for diversity and the importance of human rights.

The exhibit opening was followed by the ceremonial lighting of six candles, in memory of the six million Jews who were murdered during World War II.

The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust is observed by the UN on January 27 of every year. January 27 is also the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.

The “Holocaust Remembrance” day was created by UN General Assembly resolution 60/7, which was adopted on 1 November 2005. The same resolution created the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, which seeks to remind the world of the lessons to be learned from the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide.

You may view photos of the event at: http://bit.ly/2E66eeR