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.


UN Secretary-General’s Message for International Day for Disaster Reduction, 13 October 2018

This year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction falls shortly after a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia showed yet again the urgency of resilience and risk-awareness.

Disasters have a steep human cost.

Millions of people are displaced every year, losing their homes and jobs because of extreme weather events and earthquakes.

However, not all countries report systematically on the economic losses from major disaster events, according to a new report prepared by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

This year’s International Day aims to highlight the need for Member States to improve data collection on disasters, including comprehensive accounting of economic losses.

This is crucial for progress on crisis prevention.

For example, a better understanding of the economic losses from extreme weather events can help to generate greater action on climate change and increased ambition on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Measuring economic losses can also motivate governments to do more to achieve the targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which seeks a substantial reduction in disaster losses by 2030.

Reducing the economic losses from disasters has the power to transform lives and contribute greatly to the eradication of poverty.

As we mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction, let us reaffirm our commitment to this vital endeavour.

UN Secretary-General’s Message for World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2018

Health encompasses both physical and mental well-being.

Yet for too long, mental health has been mostly an afterthought, despite its overwhelming impacts on communities and young people, everywhere.

This year’s World Mental Health Day focuses on young people.

One in five young people will experience a mental health problem this year. Half of all mental health conditions start by the age of 14.  Most cases are, however, undetected and untreated.

Poor mental health during adolescence has an impact on educational achievement and increases the risk of alcohol and substance use and violent behaviour.  Suicide is a leading cause of death in young people.

Millions of people are caught up in conflict and disasters, putting them at risk of a range of long-term mental health problems. Violence against women — physical, sexual and psychological — results in lasting scars, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Yet despite these challenges, a great deal of mental health conditions are both preventable and treatable, especially if we start looking after our mental health at an early age.

The 2030 Agenda is clear: We must leave no one behind.  Yet, those struggling with mental health problems are still being marginalized.

Healthy societies require greater integration of mental health into broader health and social care systems, under the umbrella of universal health coverage.

The United Nations is committed to creating a world where by 2030 everyone, everywhere has someone to turn to in support of their mental health, in a world free of stigma and discrimination.

If we change our attitude to mental health – we change the world.  It is time to act on mental health.

UN Secretary-General’s Message on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, 16 September 2018

This has been a year of record-breaking heat around the world. It is also a pivotal time for climate action.

As we address this threat, we can draw inspiration from the Montreal Protocol, a shining example of how the world can come together for people and planet.

When science showed us that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other substances were tearing a hole in the ozone layer that protects all life on earth, the world responded with determination and foresight by banning them.  Thanks to this global commitment, the ozone layer is expected to return to its 1980 levels by mid-century.

However, this work is not yet done.

The landmark Kigali Amendment, which enters into force on 1 January 2019, sets its sights on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), powerful climate-warming gases still used in cooling systems.

So far, 46 countries have ratified this new instrument; I call on all others to follow suit and show their commitment to a healthier planet. I expect countries to demonstrate significant progress in implementing the Kigali Amendment at the Climate Summit I am convening in September 2019.

For over three decades, the Montreal Protocol has done much more than shrink the ozone hole; it has shown us how environmental governance can respond to science, and how countries can come together to address a shared vulnerability.

I call for that same spirit of common cause and, especially, greater leadership as we strive to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change and mobilize the ambitious climate action we so urgently need at this time.


UN Secretary-General’s Remarks at Funeral of Kofi Annan

Accra, Ghana, 13 September 2018

[As delivered]

To Nane Annan and the Annan Family,  

To Kofi Annan’s larger family, starting with you, President Akufo-Addo and the people of his beloved Ghana, and extending to every corner of the globe, 

To the many members of the United Nations community who grieve the passing of one of our own.

Since the shock of Kofi’s death, I have been reflecting on what made him so special.

To my mind, it is simply this:   

Kofi Annan was both one-of-a-kind and one of us. 

Portrait of Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
27 June 1999
Oxford, England

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New UN Publications: August 2018

Capture the moment.
WHO and UNICEF recommend that children initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth and be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life – meaning no other foods or liquids are provided, including water. This report presents the global situation of early initiation of breastfeeding and describes trends over the past ten years. The report also outlines key learnings from countries where rates of early initiation have improved or deteriorated and concludes with recommendations for policy and programmatic action.
Bibliographic info:
Publisher: WHO / UNICEF
ISBN: 978-92-806-4976-5


Climate Economy report 2018: Unlocking the inclusive growth story of the 21st century
We are entering a new era of economic growth. This Report is a roadmap for how we can accelerate action to turn better growth and a better climate into reality. This new growth story draws direction from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. It highlights opportunities in five key economic systems—energy, cities, food and land use, water, and industry – chosen because of their transformative importance in driving growth, meeting development objectives and supporting climate action. This new growth agenda will deliver higher productivity, more resilient economies and greater
social inclusion. This approach can deliver growth that is strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive.

Bibliographic info:
Publisher: WRI



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UN Secretary-General’s Remarks on Climate Change

New York, 10 September 2018

Dear friends of planet Earth,

Thank you for coming to the UN Headquarters today.

I have asked you here to sound the alarm.

Climate change is the defining issue of our time – and we are at a defining moment.

We face a direct existential threat.

Climate change is moving faster than we are – and its speed has provoked a sonic boom SOS across our world.

If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us.

That is why, today, I am appealing for leadership – from politicians, from business and scientists, and from the public everywhere.

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UN Secretary-General’s Message on the International Day of Democracy, 15 September 2018

Democracy is showing greater strain than at any time in decades. That is why this International Day should make us look for ways to invigorate democracy and seek answers for the systemic challenges it faces.

This means tackling inequality, both economic and political.  It means making our democracies more inclusive, by bringing the young and marginalized into the political system.  It means making democracies more innovative and responsive to emerging challenges.

Working for a future that leaves no one behind requires us to consider essential pressing questions.  For example, what impact will migration or climate change have on democracy in the next generation?  How do we best harness the potential of new technologies while avoiding the dangers? How do build better governance so that democracy delivers better lives and fully meets the public’s aspirations?

On this International Day of Democracy, let us commit to joining forces for the future of democracy.