Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
– Secretary-General/Fallen U.N. Staff
– Secretary-General/Poverty Eradication
– Deputy Secretary-General/Africa
– Security Council
– Human Rights
– State Of World Population
– Pause Campaign
– International Days
– Financial Contributions
SECRETARY-GENERAL/FALLEN U.N. STAFF
The Secretary-General spoke at this morning’s annual memorial service to honour UN personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty. The event was held virtually this year, unfortunately.
That so many of our colleagues choose to serve where risk prevails is testament to their unstinting commitment to helping the world’s most vulnerable people, who rely on us for peace, shelter, food, vaccinations and so much more, the Secretary-General said.
He paid tribute to the 77 UN personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty between March 16th and December 31st of 2019. Thirty-eight were military, which underscores the increasingly complex and dangerous work our peacekeepers are asked to perform every day. The Secretary-General said that while three were police, 36 were civilians. They came from 41 countries.
He said that, this year, when the world is facing the unprecedented upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also commemorating 75 years of the United Nations. All around the world, especially in the most fragile contexts, the blue flag of the United Nations symbolizes hope, and hope is part of the legacy of the colleagues we mourn today.
The Secretary-General stressed that even one death is too many, pledging to continue to ensure that the UN [constantly] reviews and improves our practices related to the safety and care of staff.
The Secretary-General also spoke at the virtual High-Level Meeting on trends, options and strategies in poverty eradication across the world. The event was organized by the President of the General Assembly.
He added that, after many years of progress, poverty and hunger are on the rise because of COVID-19, which is reversing decades of progress and elevating levels of inequality within and between countries.
The impacts are falling disproportionately on the most vulnerable – the working poor, women and children, persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups.
The Secretary-General stressed that we cannot go back to the way things were and that we have an opportunity to create a people-centred economic recovery with decent jobs for all, enabling people to work their way out of poverty. He added that this can only happen if we make the connection between health and healthcare needs, and social, economic and environmental well-being.