Media Update: United Nations Pakistan, 10 October 2020
This Media Update includes:
- THE SECRETARY-GENERAL REMARKS ON THE AWARDING OF THE 2020 NOBEL PRIZE FOR PEACE TO THE UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME, 9 October 2020
- THE SECRETARY-GENERAL MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL, New York, 11 October 2020
REMARKS ON THE AWARDING OF THE 2020 NOBEL PRIZE FOR PEACE TO THE UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
9 October 2020
I am delighted by the decision of the Nobel Committee to award this year’s Prize for Peace to the United Nations World Food Programme.
I warmly congratulate David Beasley, WFP Executive Director, and the entire staff of the World Food Programme, on this recognition.
The World Food Programme is the world’s first responder on the frontlines of food insecurity.
In a world of plenty, it is unconscionable that hundreds of millions go to bed each night hungry. Millions more are now on the precipice of famine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In my ten years as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, I had the privilege to work hand-in-hand with my colleagues from the World Food Programme.
I have seen them in the most remote and dangerous locations with enormous courage, dedication and competence serving the most vulnerable of the vulnerable people of this world.
There is also a hunger everywhere for international cooperation. The World Food Programme feeds that need, too. WFP operates above the realm of politics, with humanitarian need driving its operations. The organization itself survives on voluntary contributions from UN Member States and the public at large.
Such solidarity is precisely needed now to address not only the pandemic, but other global tests of our time. We know that existential threats such as climate change will make the hunger crisis even worse. We know that achieving zero hunger is an imperative for peace.
A hungry world is not a peaceful world.
I salute the women and men of the World Food Programme — and indeed the entire UN team — for all their efforts to advance the cause of peace and the values of the United Nations today and every day.
MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL
New York, 11 October 2020
This year, we mark the International Day of the Girl against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, and resurgent movements for social justice.
As we strengthen the response to the pandemic and plan for a strong recovery, we have an opportunity to create a better, fairer, more equal world for girls everywhere. The best way to achieve this is by following the leadership of girls themselves.
This year’s theme, “My Voice: Our Equal Future” calls on us to amplify the voices of adolescent girls, and put their needs at the forefront of laws, policies and practices in every country and community around the world.
The gaps between girls and boys remain unacceptably wide. Adolescent girls are locked out of opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), not for lack of talent or ambition — but because they are girls. Globally, the percentage of women among graduates in these subjects is below 15 percent in over two-thirds of countries.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Generation Equality is our global campaign and call to commit to working with and for girls, everywhere.
We must support girls by giving them access to the tools they need to shape their own destinies. That includes the technological skills, connectivity and safety they need to thrive in a digital world.
We can all draw inspiration from the adolescent girls who are taking the lead and shaping better lives for themselves — and for others.
Teenage girls are the new leaders of our time, creating global movements for change. They’re ready for the challenge.
On this International Day of the Girl, let’s stand together with them and for them.
Let’s nourish their talents, amplify their voices and work together for a better, more equal future for us all.