The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack today on a bus in Karachi, Pakistan, reportedly killing at least 45 members of the Ismaili community and injuring several others.
The Secretary-General calls on the Government of Pakistan to take all necessary measures to bring to justice the perpetrators of this despicable act.
Taking note that a number of attacks against the Shia and Christian minorities have taken place in the recent past in Pakistan, the Secretary-General urges the Government of Pakistan to take swift measures aimed at effective protection of religious minorities in the country. Creating a climate of tolerance, understanding and respect will greatly contribute to achieving this objective.
Pakistan, as a responsible member of the international community, must uphold its obligations and commitments towards protecting its citizens, including all minorities.
The Secretary-General extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Pakistan. He wishes a speedy recovery to those injured in the attack.
New York, 13 May 2015
Secretary-General’s press statement at event for 70th Anniversary of World War II with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine – 8 May 2015
Dobryi Ranok! [“Good morning.”]
It is a great honour for me to be here, standing together with the President Poroshenko and his people of Ukraine in this very solemn and sacred place where we are honouring and commemorating many valiant and courageous Ukrainian soldiers and citizens who fought to defend their country, to defend their human dignity against the aggression of Nazism. It seems that I am hearing their ardent aspirations, their voices… ardent aspirations wishing the people of Ukraine to live in peace and harmony and preserving their sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Yesterday I was with many European leaders and international organizations who commemorated the victorious end of the Second World War, the 70th Anniversary.
And this morning, I am standing with people of Ukraine to commemorate and to express my deepest admiration and respect to many people who gave their lives to defend freedom, liberty, democracy, and their human dignity. It is a day of celebration and commemoration, and solemn remembrance. Today, we pay our profound respect to the memory of the millions of people who fought for freedom.
Ukraine contributed and sacrificed immensely, a fact that the world cannot and will never forget.
We honour the valiant veterans, some of whom we are fortunate to still have with us to commemorate today. This morning, I was very humbled to meet a veteran who even came to my country Korea at a time of liberation from Japanese colonialism. He was proudly wearing a medal from Korea saying “Liberation”. That is most humbling.
As we recall the huge price of victory over fascism, we renew our solemn promise that the sacrifice of the fallen will not be in vain. Out of this tragedy emerged a common resolve by the international community to come together and create the United Nations. The Charter of the United Nations says their main purpose is to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”
The United Nations has being working very hard to protect human lives and human dignity. I know that there had being some setbacks and failures, but the United Nations is the most legitimate organization in the international community to preserve peace, freedom, human dignity, and human rights.
I am saddened that I come to Ukraine amidst a debilitating conflict in the east, where nearly 7,000 people [lives] have been lost, along with so much destruction of your society.
The United Nations stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. I am here to reaffirm my support for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, in a manner upholding Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.
The United Nations and Ukraine are strong partners: Ukraine is a founding member of the United Nations and in its 24 years of independence, Ukraine has provided peacekeepers to so many places in the world. And if Ukraine now turns to the UN for assistance on its own peace and security, I will do my utmost to assist Ukraine’s Government and people.
The United Nations and the international community will continue to stand together with the Ukrainian people. I am deeply admiring of the strong leadership of President Poroshenko, for his vision and resilience to keep this country independent and sovereign, and its territorial integrity. I am standing with you. I wish you all the best.
Duzhe diakuiu. [“Thank you very much.”]
Secretary-General’s Message on the International Day of Families (15 May 2015)
The theme of this year’s International Day of Families – “Men in Charge?” – highlights the importance of gender equality and children’s rights in contemporary families.
Around the world, more women are becoming recognized as the equal partners and decision-makers in families that they should be, thus helping to ensure a conducive environment for the full and harmonious development of children.
Yet in too many countries, discrimination against women and disregard for children’s rights remain built into family laws and Government policies, and prevailing social norms often condone and justify many discriminatory practices.
The social and economic costs are felt by all. Discrimination and neglect often lead to violence, threatening women’s and children’s health and limiting their chances to complete education and fulfil their potential. The cycle tends to continue into the next generation, as children experiencing violence are more likely to resort to violence in their adult lives.
Equitable social and economic development depends on fair legal frameworks and social norms that support the rights of women and children. Discriminatory laws and practices that do not give equal rights to all, and that suppress women’s and children’s rights, have no place in contemporary families, communities, societies and nations.
On this International Day, let us resolve to change legal and social norms that support male control over women, reinforce discrimination and prevent the elimination of violence against vulnerable family members. As we shape a new sustainable development agenda and strive for a world of dignity for all, let us stand united for women’s and children’s rights in families and societies at large.
Joint Message from Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on World Press Freedom Day – 3 May 2015