Media Update-2: United Nations Pakistan, 28 May 2021

This Media Update includes: 

  • THE SECRETARY-GENERAL MESSAGE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPERS, 29 May 2021
  • THE SECRETARY-GENERAL MESSAGE ON WORLD DIGESTIVE HEALTH DAY, 29 May 2021

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPERS

29 May 2021

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers honors the more than one million women and men who have served on the frontlines of conflict and the more than 4,000 who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Their service and sacrifices will never be forgotten.

I express my deep gratitude to the 85,000 civilian, police and military personnel currently deployed in some of the world’s most challenging hotspots to protect the vulnerable and help to build peace. Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, as well as the risk of infection, these men and women have pursued their mission while also supporting local authorities in the fight against COVID-19. I offer sincere condolences to the families of peacekeepers who have fallen victim to this terrible disease.  

This year’s observance focuses on the central question of youth, peace and security. In every country where our peacekeepers work, peace can only be achieved with the active participation of young people. The world needs to do far more to address their needs, amplify their voices and ensure their presence at decision-making tables.

Our Missions play an important role in protecting and supporting young people, in particular young women and girls, to reduce violence and sustain peace. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUSCO is working with youth who are vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups, to provide viable and sustainable alternatives to violence. In South Sudan, the inclusion of youth groups in peace processes has helped strengthen relations between subnational and national actors. In the Central African Republic and in Mali, MINUSCA and MINUSMA have worked closely with youth representatives to increase voter turnout in recent elections.

One of our greatest strengths is our own young peacekeepers, in particular young women peacekeepers who contribute every day to debunking deeply entrenched gendered stereotypes and inspire young women and girls to seek non-traditional paths and opportunities. 

United Nations peacekeeping helps nurture peace in some of the world’s most dangerous places. Today and every day, we salute the dedication and bravery of our peacekeepers in helping societies turn away from war and towards a safer, more stable future.

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THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON WORLD DIGESTIVE HEALTH DAY

29 May 2021

The world is experiencing a growing pandemic of obesity.  It affects people of all ages in all regions.  Particularly concerning are the young people affected.  In the past four decades, the percentage of 5–19-year-olds who were overweight or obese increased more than four-fold, from 4 per cent to 18 per cent.  Globally, more than 4 million people die each year due to overweight or obesity.

Once considered a problem of high-income countries, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings.  The vast majority of overweight or obese children live in developing countries, where the rate of increase has been more than 30 per cent higher than that of developed countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted how obesity is a threat to health, as obese patients have four times the risk of developing the most severe consequences of COVID-19.  The World Health Assembly has established targets to curb obesity in children, adolescents and adults by 2025.  At current rates of progress, none of these targets is likely to be met, yet obesity and its associated health problems can be curbed.

First, we need better prevention, starting with good nutrition during pregnancy, followed by exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding for the first two years and beyond.  Second, we need policies and investments that make it easier to access healthy and nutritious food – something that should be addressed at the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit.  Third, people who are overweight or obese need better care in the primary healthcare system.

On this World Digestive Health Day, let us commit to work together to address obesity for a sustainable and healthy world. 

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UN entities involved in this initiative
UN
United Nations